If your child has died, your Child Benefit payments may carry on for a short while longer. They could help with the extra costs that you face at this difficult time. If your child died before you'd claimed Child Benefit for them you can still make a claim.
On this page:
You will need to tell the Child Benefit Office as soon as possible if your child or a child you've been responsible for has died. Tell them the exact date of death too. The Child Benefit Office will record this information and also pass it on to other parts of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that need to know. That way you'll only have to get in touch with HMRC once.
You can get in touch:
The Child Benefit Office generally carries on paying your Child Benefit for eight weeks from the date that your child died.
If you don't tell the Child Benefit Office that they've died until after the eight weeks, they might end up paying you too much.
If your child would have turned 20 before the end of the eight weeks, there's a different way of working out how long you'll get Child Benefit for. The Child Benefit Office can only pay up to the Monday after the week in which they would have been 20. If your child's birthday would have fallen on a Monday, that's the date they'll pay up to.
If your child dies before the end of the week they were born in, the Child Benefit Office may pay Child Benefit for eight weeks. They'll start the eight weeks from the Monday after the day your child died. The payments will stop after the eight weeks.
If your child died before you'd claimed Child Benefit for them you can still make a claim.
You may get up to eight weeks' worth of Child Benefit from the date your child died. The number of weeks you get depends on when the Child Benefit Office gets your claim.
Make a claim as quickly as possible. The Child Benefit Office can only consider backdating your claim for up to three months from when they receive it. The later you claim, the less likely you'll get the maximum amount of payments.
If you need help with working out whether you're in time to claim, you can contact the Child Benefit Helpline.
When you send in your Child Benefit claim attach a separate sheet of paper, telling the Child Benefit Office the date of your child's death. Also put your name and address on the separate sheet - and your National Insurance number, if you have one.
You'll need to send your child's birth or adoption certificate with your claim form, but there's no need to send their death certificate too.
You won't be able to claim Child Benefit if your child was stillborn. This is because Child Benefit can only be paid if a child was alive when they were born.
If your child was stillborn the doctor or midwife will have given you a medical certificate of stillbirth.
You or your partner could be liable to a tax charge called the 'High Income Child Benefit charge'. It's important to know that you won't be liable to the tax charge on any Child Benefit due to you from the date your child died. But you will still be liable if Child Benefit entitlement carries on for any other children.
Instead of paying the tax charge, you or your partner could have decided not to receive Child Benefit payments. But you still need to tell the Child Benefit Office if your child, or a child you've been responsible for, has died.