CCM18070 - Child Benefit and Tax Credits: Child Benefit (Lone Parent) (Child Benefit (LP) )

Child Benefit (LP) is a higher-rate of Child Benefit paid for the only or eldest child or qualifying young person of some lone parents.

Child Benefit (LP) was introduced on 7 April 1997 to replace One Parent Benefit - OPB. OPB was an addition to the basic weekly rate of Child Benefit

From 6 July 1998, new legislation was introduced to restrict the payment of Child Benefit (LP) to customers within a 'protected group' who claim Child Benefit (LP) on or after 6 July 1998.

Existing Child Benefit (LP) customers who are not in a ‘protected group’ retain their entitlement to Child Benefit (LP) for as long as they continue to satisfy the conditions of entitlement. Once entitlement is lost, for whatever reason, it cannot be regained at a later date.

To be entitled to Child Benefit (LP) a customer must satisfy all of the following basic conditions

  • be entitled to Child Benefit continuously from 5 July 1998 for at least one child or qualifying young person who is living with them
  • have been a lone parent continuously since 5 July 1998
  • not be entitled to an increase in one of the following benefits for the only or eldest child or qualifying young person in the Child Benefit award:
    • Widow's Allowance
    • Widowed Mothers Allowance
    • Widowed Parents Allowance
    • State Retirement Pension
    • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (paid as an unemployability supplement)
    • Carer’s Allowance (prior to April 2003 this was called Invalid Care Allowance)
    • War Widows Pension
    • Industrial Death Benefit.
  • from 6 July 1998 a customer applying for Child Benefit (LP) must also be in a protected group and satisfy all the conditions attached to that group.

The two protected groups are:

  • Income Support / Job Seekers Allowance customers who had been continuously getting any of the following with their benefit since 5 July 1998 and are coming off benefit to take up paid employment
    • Family Premium (Lone Parent) FP (LP)
    • a Pensioner Premium (PP) (must be in payment at 5 April 1998)
    • a Disability Premium (DP) (must be in payment at 5 April 1998)
They must apply for Child Benefit (LP) within one calendar month of coming off Income Support / Job Seekers Allowance.
To receive a PP or DP the customer must have been a lone parent at 5 April 1998
  • People who had been continuously getting one of the following benefits since 5 July 1998
    • Widowed Mother’s Allowance with extra money for a dependant child
    • State Retirement Pension with extra money for a dependant child
    • Incapacity Benefit with extra money for a dependant child
    • Severe Disablement Allowance Benefit with extra money for a dependant child
    • A Carer’s Premium with Invalid Care Allowance
    • War Widows Pension with extra money for a dependant child
    • Industrial Death Benefit paid at the higher rate for a child.
They must apply for Child Benefit (LP) within one month of coming off the benefits listed above.

A customer who is no longer entitled to Child Benefit(LP) for any period on or after 6 July 1998 cannot regain entitlement. For example, if a customer is reconciled or lives with their partner for a short period they cannot regain entitlement to Child Benefit(LP) when they separate again.

Details of the conditions of entitlement and regulations for Child Benefit (LP) between the period 7 April 1997 to 5 July 1998 and about OPB can be obtained from the CBO Procedural Guidance Unit.