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HMRC internal manual

Child Benefit Technical Manual

Responsibility for a child or qualifying young person: Treated as ‘living with’ the claimant

SSC&B Act 1992 section143(2), SSC&B (NI) Act 1992 section139(2)

In certain circumstances, a child or qualifying young person who is absent from the claimant is treated as living with the claimant.

Where a person had a child or qualifying young person living with them at some time before a particular week they are treated as still having that child or qualifying young person living with them, despite their absence from one another, unless their absence amounts to more than 56 days in the preceding 16 weeks (not counting any day which is disregarded).


Mark normally lives with his mother and she is being paid Child Benefit. Mum notifies Child Benefit that Mark went to stay with his dad for 6 weeks during the summer holidays and then he returned home. Dad has not made a claim for child benefit. In the 16 weeks prior to Mark returning home he was absent from his mother for 42 days. Child Benefit entitlement remains with his mother throughout that period and payment can continue.This may not apply if the child or qualifying young person is detained under a supervision order or legal custody, undergoing imprisonment or in the care of a local authority - see also detention CBTM08070 and care CBTM08080.