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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Child Benefit and Tax Credits: Residence

Generally, to be entitled to Child Benefit the person claiming and the child or qualifying young person they are claiming for must be both present and ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom - see CBTM10010.

However, this rule does not apply where;

For temporary absence (i.e. unlikely to exceed 52 weeks)

  • the first 8 weeks of absence of claimant (or 12 weeks in cases of illness or death of the child, qualifying young person (QYP) or a relative) - see CBTM10030 
  • the first 12 weeks of absence of a child/QYP

or for any period due to

  • the child or QYP being absent due to attending full time education at a school or college within an EEA state or Switzerland
  • the child or QYP being absent due to being on an educational exchange or visit with the written approval of their normal school or college
  • the child or QYP receiving medical treatment for an illness which began before his absence
  • the person claiming being a Crown Servant or a partner of a Crown Servant posted overseas (there are exceptions to this, see CBTM10060 for further details).

For further details on ordinarily resident, see CBTM10020.

For claims made after 1 May 2004, the claimant must have a right to reside in the United Kingdom, see CBTM10010 and CBTM10070 for further details.

Child Benefit can be paid to EEA nationals whilst they are in another EEA country in certain circumstances, see CBTM10010. for further details.

A person who is subject to immigration control and has no recourse to public funds has no entitlement to Child Benefit. However, there are exceptions to this rule, see CBTM10140.

There is separate legislation for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. However if two people would be entitled for the same child or qualifying young person in the same week under the legislation of both Great Britain and Northern Ireland, only one of them can be entitled-see CBTM10050.

Main difference to Child Tax Credit (CTC) 

There are some differences for CTC but as residency is a complex area, see TCTM02010 for further information.