Child Benefit - do you qualify?

You normally qualify for Child Benefit if you have children under 16 (or under 20 if in certain types of education or training) and you live in the UK.

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Who is eligible?

You may be able to get Child Benefit if your child is:

  • aged under 16
  • over 16 but under 20 - and is in education or training that counts for Child Benefit
  • under 18 and has recently left education or training - but they must have registered for work, education or training with a careers service, Connexions or local authority support services, Ministry of Defence or similar

Find out what types of education or training count for Child Benefit

Child Benefit for under 18s who leave education or training

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Fostering and adopting?

If you're adopting or fostering you may be entitled to Child Benefit for your child. If you're in the process of adopting you need to apply as soon as possible - you don't have to wait until the process is complete.

Child Benefit if you adopt or foster a child

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What if your child doesn't live with you or is away from home?

Normally, your child has to live with you if you claim Child Benefit. However, you may still qualify if your child lives with someone else, is in care or in hospital including getting medical treatment abroad.

Child Benefit if your child lives with someone else

Child Benefit if your child is in care

Child Benefit for children in hospital or residential care

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What if you live or work abroad?

If you live or work abroad, you may still qualify for UK Child Benefit, or you might get the child allowance of the country where you live or work.

Child Benefit if you're living or working abroad

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You've only just moved to the UK

You may be entitled to Child Benefit if you've just come to the UK, but if you are subject to 'immigration control' you may not qualify.

New arrivals to the UK and Child Benefit

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If your child has died

You may be entitled to Child Benefit for up to eight weeks after your child has died.

More about Child Benefit if your child dies

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You look after a child whose parent has died

If you're responsible for a child who has lost one or both of their parents, you may be able to claim Guardian's Allowance as well as Child Benefit.

Find out about Guardian's Allowance

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You or your partner have an individual income of more than £50,000

If you or your partner have an individual income of more than £50,000, you can still qualify for Child Benefit. But you'll need to decide whether to actually receive the payments. This is because you may be liable to a tax charge called the 'High Income Child Benefit charge'.

It's important to still fill in a Child Benefit claim form, even if you don't want to get the payments. This is because if you are entitled to receive Child Benefit it can:

  • help you qualify for National Insurance credits that can protect your entitlement to State Pension
  • help protect your entitlement to other benefits such as Guardian's Allowance
  • ensure your child is automatically issued with a National Insurance number before their 16th birthday

High Income Child Benefit charge

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Still unsure?

If you're not sure whether or not you qualify, you can find out by calling the Child Benefit Helpline.

Contact details for the Child Benefit Helpline (opens new window)

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More useful links

How to claim Child Benefit

How claiming Child Benefit can protect your State Pension

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