Claim Child Benefit

What you'll get

There are 2 Child Benefit rates.

Who the allowance is for Rate (weekly)
Eldest or only child £20.70
Additional children £13.70 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 one or both parents have died. It’s paid on top of Child Benefit.

If families split or join together

If a family splits up, you get £20.70 a week for the eldest child who stays with you.


If you have 2 children and one of them stays with you, you’ll get £20.70 a week for them. If your ex-partner claims for the other child, they’ll get £20.70 a week for that child.

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

If 2 families join together, the eldest child in the new family qualifies for the £20.70 rate. If you’re entitled to Child Benefit for any other children, you’ll get the £13.70 rate for each of them.

How and when Child Benefit is paid

Child Benefit is usually paid every 4 weeks on a Monday or Tuesday.

You can have the money paid weekly if you’re a single parent or getting certain other benefits, such as Income Support.

You can get the money paid into any account, apart from a Nationwide cashbuilder account (sort code 070030) in someone else’s name.

You can only get the money paid into one account.

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 you can get. It applies to most people aged 16 or over who have not reached State Pension age.

Some individual benefits are not 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 do not 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 do not have gaps in your National Insurance record.