2. What you'll get

There are 2 Child Benefit rates.

Who the allowance is for Rate (weekly)
Eldest or only child £20.50
Additional children £13.55 per child

You must contact the Child Benefit Office if you’re paid too much or too little.

You could get Guardian’s Allowance if you’re bringing up someone else’s child because the child’s parents have died. It’s paid on top of Child Benefit.

If families split or join together

If a family splits up, you get £20.50 a week for the eldest child you qualify for.

Example

If you have 2 children and 1 of them stays with you, you’ll get £20.50 a week for them. If your ex-partner claims for the other child, they’ll get £20.50 a week for that child.

If you both claim for the same child, only 1 of you will get Child Benefit for them.

If 2 families join together, the eldest child in the new family qualifies for the £20.50 rate. If you’re entitled to Child Benefit for any other children, you’ll get the £13.55 rate for each of them.

How and when Child Benefit is paid

Child Benefit is usually paid every 4 weeks into your bank account on a Monday or Tuesday. It can be paid weekly if you’re a single parent or getting certain other benefits, eg Income Support.

The claim form notes explain whose name can be on the account.

Money can’t be paid into:

  • Child Trust Fund accounts
  • children’s accounts
  • business and building society accounts that use a passbook
  • National Savings and Investments (NS&I) accounts (apart from NS&I Investment Accounts and Direct Saver Accounts)
  • some mortgage accounts
  • a Nationwide account in someone else’s name

ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) have limits on the amount of money that can be paid into them. It’s recommended you don’t use these for Child Benefit.

Incomes over £50,000

You may have to pay a tax charge if you or your partner’s individual income is over £50,000. This is known as the ‘High Income Child Benefit Charge’.

Use the Child Benefit tax calculator to estimate how much tax you may have to pay.

The benefit cap

The benefit cap limits the amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. Some individual benefits aren’t affected, but it may affect the total amount of benefit you get.

Child Benefit and your State Pension

If your child is under 12 and you’re not working or don’t earn enough to pay National Insurance contributions, Child Benefit can help you qualify for National Insurance credits.

These credits count towards your State Pension. They protect it by making sure you don’t have gaps in your National Insurance record.

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