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HMRC internal manual

Child Benefit Technical Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Exclusions and priorities: Definition/interpretation of a day and a week when a child is in detention, care etc


The claimant must be responsible for a child or qualifying young person in order to claim Child Benefit, or continue to claim when the child or qualifying young person is absent from them, for instance if they are detained or in care (see CBTM06000)

Definition of a “week” & a “day”

Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 section 147(1)

R(F)1/82 & R(F)3/85

A week means 7 days beginning on a Monday.

It is further defined by Commissioner’s Decisions as starting midnight Sunday/Mondayand ending the following midnight Sunday/Monday.

A day is defined by Commissioner’s Decisions as a period of 24 hours from midnight tomidnight. If a child or qualifying young person returns home from care before midnight the ‘day’ does not start until the midnight following their return. The child must then sleep at home two nights in the week to complete a full day to the following midnight. If the child returns to care 5-10 minutes before the 24 hour period is up they can be treated as being home for the full 24 hours, but not if they return any earlier.

7 consecutive days

Child Benefit (General) Regulations 2006 regulation 16(1)(b)(i)

A period of 7 consecutive days starts at midnight on any day of the week and ends at midnight 7 days later.

Example: Sophie comes home for 7 consecutive days. She arrives home Monday afternoon and leaves 8 days later on the Tuesday morning. Midnight Monday to midnight Tuesday is day 1. The 7th consecutive day ends midnight the following Monday.

A few days in a week

Child Benefit (General) Regulations 2006 regulation 16(1)(b)(iv)

A child or qualifying young person is regarded as still being in care during visits home for a few days if they are still in care in that week. This does not apply if the child or qualifying young person ordinarily lives at home for at least one day in each and every week, see CBTM08065.

Interpretation of facts existing in a week

Child Benefit (General) Regulations 2006 regulation 19

Although a week normally starts on a Monday, any reference to a condition being satisfied or fact existing in a week in relation to Schedule 9 does not in this instance need to start midnight Sunday/Monday it can start any time within the week as long as it exists for at least 7 consecutive days (see above). The mid week change is treated as if it started midnight Sunday/Monday to midnight the following Sunday/Monday. See CBTM08090.


Relevant periods in detention, care etc

All periods when the child is in detention, subject to supervision requirements or in care should be aggregated.