Parents of new-borns will still be able to claim Child Benefit despite the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), HMRC announced today (7 April 2020).
General Register Offices are currently operating with reduced capacity and with government guidance to social distance and stay at home, new parents are advised not to visit them. They can however still claim Child Benefit without having to register their child’s birth first to ensure that they do not miss out.
First time parents will need to fill in Child Benefit Claim form CH2 found online and send it to the Child Benefit Office. If they haven’t registered the birth because of COVID-19, they should add a note with their claim to let us know.
If they already claim Child Benefit, they can complete the form or add their new-born’s details over the phone on 0300 200 3100. They will need their National Insurance number or Child Benefit number.
Child Benefit claims can be backdated by up to 3 months.
This announcement is timely as Child Benefit payments increased from 6 April to a weekly rate of £21.05 for the first child and £13.95 for each additional child. Child Benefit is paid into a parent’s bank account, usually every 4 weeks.
Only one person can claim Child Benefit for a child. For couples with one partner not working or paying National Insurance contributions (NICs), making the claim in their name will help protect their State Pension.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman, said:
We need people to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. Today’s change means new parents won’t miss out financially and can keep their families safe.
The government will do whatever it takes to support people and the NHS during this outbreak, and HMRC is working around the clock to help families and businesses across the UK.
Angela MacDonald, Director General for Customer Services at HMRC, said:
It’s really important that new parents remember to register for Child Benefit, even during these unprecedented times.
The increase in Child Benefit is a boost for family budgets but there’s more to claiming than the payments. We’re encouraging people to claim so they don’t miss out on National Insurance credits that help protect their State Pension. It also helps children to get their National Insurance number automatically at 16.
HMRC is reminding High Income Child Benefit Charge customers of the importance of claiming Child Benefit, even if they choose to opt out of receiving monetary benefits.
The tax charge applies to anyone with an income over £50,000 who claims Child Benefit or whose partner claims it. Even if you do have to pay the tax charge, you could still be better off by claiming Child Benefit - the tax is 1% of Child Benefit for each £100 of income over £50,000.
You can use the Child Benefit tax calculator to work out how much you may have to pay, or you can opt out of receiving Child Benefit payments altogether when you complete the form, so you won’t have to pay the charge but will still protect your State Pension.
If you’re responsible for a child and have not yet claimed, complete and return Child Benefit claim form CH2.
The annual Child Benefit geographical statistics were published on 26 March 2020. The latest statistics can be accessed on GOV.UK.
The new payment amounts from the 6 April are available online