If you become the main carer for the child or children of someone who's died, you may be able to get Child Benefit. You may also be able to get an extra payment called Guardian's Allowance if you're not the child's parent.
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Let the Child Benefit Office know as soon as possible about the death of the child's parent or parents. You need to tell them:
You can do this:
You'll also need to make a Child Benefit claim in your own right for the child. It's worth knowing that your Child Benefit can only be backdated for up to three months from the date the Child Benefit Office gets your claim.
When you claim Child Benefit in your own right for the child, it's worth knowing that this could affect your tax. This is because you or your partner could be liable to a tax charge called the 'High Income Child Benefit charge'.
If your partner has died and they were the one entitled to receive Child Benefit, it won't be transferred to you automatically. Their entitlement to Child Benefit will end on the Sunday on or after the date they died.
If you're the person who's now looking after the child or children you should fill in a Child Benefit claim form. You'll need to claim even if you were already an 'alternative payee' - someone who can get Child Benefit paid to them instead of to the person who claimed it in the first place.
If you're the person getting Child Benefit and your partner has died, the Child Benefit Office will carry on making payments into your bank account.
But it's important to let them know if the payments were going into a bank account that was just in your partner's name. If they were, you'll need to let the Child Benefit Office have details of a different bank or building society account that they can start paying into instead. This will make sure you can continue to withdraw your benefit.
If you're entitled to receive Child Benefit you might be able to get some other benefits too.
Guardian's Allowance is paid to people who are bringing up a child because one or both of the child's parents have died.
You don't have to be the child's legal guardian to get the allowance but you do need to be entitled to receive Child Benefit for them.
If you're a parent whose husband, wife or civil partner has died and you've got a dependent child you may be able to get Widowed Parent's Allowance. You must be be entitled to receive Child Benefit for the child to be able to get the allowance.
If you're the partner of someone who's died and their child has died too you can normally get Child Benefit payments for eight weeks from when the child died. You must have been living with your partner at the time they died.
You'll need to make a claim for Child Benefit for these weeks. You do this on form CH330A, which you can get from the Child Benefit Office. You can request one online, or you can call the Child Benefit Helpline.
If you've got other children that you want to claim Child Benefit for you'll need to fill in a new Child Benefit claim form for them.
The Child Benefit Office will pay any outstanding Child Benefit that was due to the person who died - these are called 'arrears'. The person who applies for the arrears must be 16 years old or older and could be one of the following:
If you're the person applying for the unpaid arrears of Child Benefit you'll need to do so within 12 months of the date the person died. You apply on form CH330, which you can get from the Child Benefit Office. You can request one online, or you can call the Child Benefit Helpline.