Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child.
You normally qualify for Child Benefit if you’re responsible for a child under 16 and you live in the UK.
You’ll usually be responsible for a child if either:
- you live with them
- you’re paying at least the same amount as Child Benefit (or the equivalent in kind) towards looking after them - for example on food, clothes or pocket money
Eligibility rules are different if your child:
If your child is 16 or over
You’ll normally still qualify for Child Benefit if your child is under 20 and they stay in approved education or training.
You can apply for Child Benefit to continue for 20 weeks if a 16 or 17 year old leaves education or training and registers with either:
a government-sponsored careers service
the armed services
Find out more about Child Benefit when your child turns 16.
Fostering a child
You’ll get Child Benefit if you foster a child, as long as the local council is not paying anything towards their accommodation or maintenance.
Adopting a child
You can claim Child Benefit as soon as any child you’re adopting comes to live with you - you do not have to wait until the adoption process is complete.
You might be able to get Child Benefit for a period before the adoption - contact the Child Benefit Office to find out.
Looking after someone else’s child
You may be able to get Child Benefit if you’ve got an informal arrangement to look after a friend or relative’s child.
You might not qualify if your local council is paying towards the child’s accommodation or maintenance - contact the Child Benefit Office to find out.
Two people cannot get Child Benefit for the same child. If you and someone else are responsible for the same child, agree between yourselves who will get Child Benefit. If you cannot agree, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will decide who will get it.
You may also be entitled to Guardian’s Allowance if you’re responsible for a child who has lost one or both of their parents.
You may be able to get Child Benefit if you go to live in certain countries or if you’re a Crown servant.
If you have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
If you have settled status, you can claim Child Benefit.
If you have pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
You can claim Child Benefit if any of the following apply.
If you’re working
You must be earning or expect to earn above the primary threshold (PT) for employees paying National Insurance for 3 continuous months.
If you’re looking for work
You can continue to claim Child Benefit as a jobseeker for 91 days, unless you get a job offer.
You must have evidence to show that you have a genuine chance of finding work. This could be an invitation to an interview or registration with a job agency.
If you have sufficient resources to support yourself financially
You can claim Child Benefit if you have sufficient resources to support yourself and your family financially. This means you may not be eligible if you claim Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit or Universal Credit.
If you’re studying
You must have sufficient resources to support yourself financially.
If you’re a family member of an EEA or Swiss national who has a right to reside
You can claim Child Benefit if you are:
their spouse or civil partner
their child or grandchild who is dependent on them or under 21
their parent or grandparent who is dependent on them
If you move to the UK
Check if you can get Child Benefit if you move to the UK and you have the right to reside.
If your child starts work or gets benefits in their own right
You’ll stop getting Child Benefit if your child:
starts paid work for 24 hours or more a week and is no longer in approved education or training
starts an apprenticeship in England
starts getting certain benefits, such as Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit
Check what counts as approved education or training when your child turns 16.
Contact the Child Benefit Office if you’re not sure about your eligibility.