How to claim

You can claim Child Benefit as soon as you’ve registered the birth of your child, or they come to live with you.

How long it takes

It can take up to 16 weeks to process a new Child Benefit claim (or longer if you’re new to the UK). Child Benefit can be backdated for up to 3 months.

Deciding who should claim

Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child, so you need to decide whether it’s better for you or the other parent to claim. The person who claims will get National Insurance credits towards their state pension if they are not working or earn less than £242 per week.

Make a claim for the first time

Fill in Child Benefit claim form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office. The address is on the form.

If your child is adopted, send their original adoption certificate with the form. You can order a new adoption certificate if you’ve lost the original.

If you do not have the adoption certificate you need, send your claim form now and send the certificate once you’ve got it.

If your child’s birth was registered outside the UK

When you send your claim form, include your child’s:

  • original birth certificate
  • passport or travel document used to enter the UK

If you’ve lost the original you can order a new birth certificate.

Your child’s documents will usually be returned within 4 weeks.

Add a child to an existing claim

Call the Child Benefit helpline if all of the following apply:

  • your child is under 6 months old and lives with you
  • your child was born in the UK
  • your child’s birth was registered in England, Scotland or Wales more than 48 hours ago
  • you’re a UK or Irish national and you’ve lived in the UK since the start of your claim

When you call, you’ll need your:

  • National Insurance number
  • child’s birth certificate

Child Benefit helpline
Telephone: 0300 200 3100
Welsh language: 0300 200 1900
Textphone: 0300 200 3103
Outside UK: +44 161 210 3086
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

If you do not meet the criteria to add a child by phone

You’ll need to make a new claim by post. Fill in Child Benefit form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office. The address is on the form.

If you’re claiming for more than 2 children, also include the ‘additional children’ form.

If you registered the birth in Northern Ireland

You’ll need to send the birth certificate by post when you have it.

HM Revenue and Customs - Child Benefit Office
PO Box 1
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE88 1AA
United Kingdom

Claiming Child Benefit for someone else

You may be able to manage someone else’s Child Benefit claim.