When you claim Child Benefit you need to send the Child Benefit Office your child's original birth or adoption certificate. They need these so they can confirm who you're claiming for. The Child Benefit Office cannot normally accept photocopies so if you don't send them the original, this may delay your first payment.
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You should send the Child Benefit Office the original of one of the following:
You can send in either the short or long birth certificate.
You can't send in documents by email. The Child Benefit Office normally only accepts the original documents.
If you've got Child Benefit for your child in the past you don't need to send in the birth or adoption certificate. But you do need to send in the certificate for a newly adopted a child.
Contact the Child Benefit Office if you don't know if you've been paid Child Benefit for your child before. You can do this online by following the link below, or you can call the Child Benefit Helpline.
If you don't have the certificate you should still send in your claim form straight away. The Child Benefit Office can usually only backdate Child Benefit for three months after they get your form. So you may lose out on payments if you delay. You should send in the certificate as soon as you get it.
If you've lost the certificate, you can apply for another one from the General Register Office. The Child Benefit Office will remind you if you forget to send it to them.
If you have problems getting your child's adoption certificate, contact the Child Benefit Office and they may be able to help you. You'll need to let them know:
You can contact the Child Benefit Office online by using the link below. Or if you need to speak to someone, you can call the Child Benefit Helpline.
You can send your certificate by normal post. You don't need to use recorded or registered delivery.
If you've sent a United Kingdom birth certificate to the Child Benefit Office, they will always return it by normal post. Birth certificates from other countries and adoption certificates will be returned to you using the same method that you used. For example, if you sent an adoption certificate using registered delivery, they'll return it using registered delivery.
You should send the certificate to:
Child Benefit Office (Washington)
PO Box 133
If you don't receive your certificate back within four weeks, you should contact the Child Benefit Office.