Tell the Child Benefit Office about any changes to your family life. If you don’t, you may not get all the money you’re entitled to, or you may be overpaid and have to pay money back.

How to report changes

You can report changes online (eg you’ve changed address) or you can call or write to your Child Benefit Office.

If your child’s circumstances change

You must tell the Child Benefit Office as soon as possible if your child:

  • turns 16 and stays in education
  • stays or leaves approved education, training or a careers service - or the date they stay in or leave changes
  • starts paid work for 24 hours a week or more
  • will live away from you for more than 8 weeks in a row
  • lives away from you for more than 56 days in a 16-week period
  • will go abroad permanently or for more than 12 weeks
  • moves to or from Northern Ireland
  • will be in hospital or residential care for more than 12 weeks
  • goes into care - report this straight away
  • dies
  • changes their name
  • goes missing
  • marries, forms a civil partnership or starts to live with a partner
  • starts getting Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit, Incapacity Benefit, tax credits or Employment and Support Allowance

Family changes

You must tell the Child Benefit Office as soon as possible if:

  • a relationship starts or ends - eg you marry, separate or move in with a new partner
  • your bank account, name or address details change
  • you intend to go abroad for more than 8 weeks
  • you or your partner intend to move abroad permanently or for more than a year
  • you move from or to Northern Ireland
  • you have a baby or a child comes to live with you
  • payments or contributions for a child who doesn’t live with you stop or change
  • you’re paid to look after a child by a local council or similar
  • your immigration status changes
  • you lose the right to reside in the UK
  • you or your child get a prison sentence of more than 8 weeks

The Child Benefit tax charge

Changes in circumstances may mean you may have to pay the Child Benefit tax charge. The charge affects you if your income (or your partner’s) is £50,000 or more.

You must still report changes even if you’ve stopped getting Child Benefit because of the Child Benefit tax charge.

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