If you qualify for Child Benefit, you'll get a letter - called an 'Award Notice' - telling you what you're entitled to receive. Check and keep the Award Notice to make sure you're always getting what you're entitled to.
On this page:
Your Award Notice has several sections showing:
The Award Notice includes a reply slip you can use to tell the Child Benefit Office about any changes in your circumstances.
You'll also find the following information on your Award Notice:
If you need to contact the Child Benefit Office, have your Child Benefit reference number and your National Insurance number to hand.
There are two different rates of Child Benefit:
The Child Benefit Office works out your award based on how many of your children you're claiming for.
There's also an extra Guardian's Allowance that you might get if you're bringing up someone else's child, because one or both parents have died.
You can normally get Child Benefit until your child's 16 years old. Payments usually carry on until the 31 August following their 16th birthday.
If your child stays on in education or training that counts for Child Benefit you may get it for even longer. Follow the first link below to find out what training or education counts for Child Benefit.
Your Child Benefit claim can only be backdated for up to three months from the date the Child Benefit Office receives it. To avoid losing any money, it's best to claim Child Benefit as soon as any of the following happen:
The earliest your claim can be backdated is the Monday following your child's date of birth.
If you claimed two months after your child was born, the Child Benefit Office could backdate your award from the Monday following your child's date of birth. But if you didn't claim until four months after they were born, they'd only be able to backdate your award for three months. This means you will lose out on a month's payment.
Make sure the Child Benefit Office is paying your Child Benefit into the right bank account - the one you told them to use.
If you want to change this, you'll need to tell them as soon as possible.
You must tell the Child Benefit Office about any changes that might affect your entitlement to Child Benefit including:
Use the link below for a full list.
You or your partner could be liable to a tax charge called the 'High Income Child Benefit charge'. Changes to the number of children either of you are entitled to receive Child Benefit for could affect your tax.
Instead of paying the tax charge, you or your partner could have decided not to receive Child Benefit payments. But you must still tell the Child Benefit Office about any changes that might affect your entitlement.
Keep your Award Notice somewhere safe as you could need it if you apply for other financial support and you need to give:
You can ask the Child Benefit Office to explain how they made their decision about your Child Benefit. You need to do this within one month of the date on your Award Notice.