Covid-19: don’t miss out on child benefit

If the Covid-19 lockdown has affected your family income, you should check if it’s worth claiming child benefit.

If the Covid-19 lockdown has affected your family income, you should check if it’s worth claiming child benefit. This is available to anybody living in the UK who is responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they are in approved education or training), and pays £21.05 a week for your eldest child and £13.95 for every other child. However, if the highest-earning parent earns more than £50,000 a year, they have to pay some back via their tax return. If they earn more than £60,000, they have to pay it all back. So many high-income families don’t usually claim. 

If you want to start claiming for the first time, you need to send off a paper form, which you can download at gov.uk/child-benefit/how-to-claim. It can take up to 12 weeks for applications to be processed. If you have previously claimed and stopped, you should be able to restart by calling the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100. 

You can stop and start child benefit payments without it affecting your eligibility. So, if you claim while you are furloughed, you can stop it again when you go back to work by calling the same helpline (0300 200 3100). Claims can only be backdated for three months, so you should claim quickly to get as much as possible. 

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