About your Child Benefit

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1 About your Child Benefit It s quick and easy to report changes to your Child Benefit online. We ll confirm receipt of your changes instantly. Tell us about any changes straightaway For use from October 2016 Keep these notes for future reference CH1715

2 Contents Introduction 3 What type of education counts for Child Benefit 3 What type of approved training counts for Child Benefit 4 Changes that can affect the amount of Child Benefit you re entitled to 5 You have a baby or another child comes to live with you 5 Changes that happen to you 5 Leaving the UK 5 European Economic Area (EEA) nationals 5 Other changes you must tell us about 6 Changes that happen to a child 6 Continuing in full-time non-advanced education or approved training 7 Your child leaves education or training 8 Before 31 August following their 16th birthday 8 After 31 August following their 16th birthday 8 Child Benefit for under 18s who leave education or training 8 Who qualifies for the extension 8 How to apply for an extension 9 Getting your money 9 Other things you might need to know 10 National Insurance credits 10 Earnings Factor credits 10 Your rights and obligations 11 How to contact us 11 We have a range of services for disabled people. These include guidance in Braille, audio and large print. Most of our forms are also available in large print. Please contact our helplines for more information.

3 About these notes You must tell us about changes that affect the amount of Child Benefit you re entitled to. These notes explain when to contact us. Introduction Child Benefit is a United Kingdom (UK) benefit. The UK is England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (but not the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man). These notes tell you about getting your Child Benefit. They also explain the changes that can affect your entitlement. You must tell us straightaway if any of these changes happen. If you don t and we pay you too much, you ll have to pay this money back. You get Child Benefit if you re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training). We can pay Child Benefit for a child or a qualifying young person. A qualifying young person is someone who is 16, 17, 18 or 19 and in full-time non-advanced education or approved training. Whenever we use the term child or children we also include a qualifying young person or qualifying young persons. What type of education counts for Child Benefit You can be entitled to Child Benefit for a young person aged 16, 17, 18 or 19 who is in full-time non-advanced education. Full-time non-advanced education will usually be in a school or college but may also include education provided at home, if the child was receiving this education before their 16th birthday and the home schooling had previously been approved. By full-time, in this situation, we mean an average of more than 12 hours supervised study a week, during term time, not counting breaks for meals and homework. 3

4 In England full-time non-advanced education could also take place other than at a school. Here full-time would include a study programme that is delivered to a person for at least 540 hours in any 12 month period. It could also include a traineeship, a condensed study programme in England, which could last between 6 weeks and 6 months. We don t mean courses or education provided by an employer or as part of a job contract. Some examples of full-time non-advanced education are: GCSEs, A levels and other general academic qualifications of a similar standard, for example igcses, Pre-U and the International Baccalaureate NVQ level 1, 2 or 3 BTEC National Diploma, National Certificate and 1st Diploma Traineeships (England) National 4 and 5 (Scotland) SVQ level 1, 2 or 3 Scottish Group Awards What type of approved training counts for Child Benefit In Scotland The Employability Fund In Wales Foundation Apprenticeships or Traineeships In Northern Ireland: United Youth Pilot Training for Success, including Programme Led Apprenticeships Pathways for Success (Pathways for Young People element) or The Collaboration and Innovation Programme Important Child Benefit stops when a child reaches age 20. 4

5 Changes that can affect the amount of Child Benefit you re entitled to You have a baby or another child comes to live with you If you have a baby, the Bounty pack you may get from the hospital when your baby is born has a Child Benefit claim pack inside. Alternatively, or if another child comes to live with you, fill in a claim form online. Go to or phone the Child Benefit Helpline for a claim pack Changes that happen to you You must tell us straightaway if you: change your name change your address we ll stop your benefit if we can t contact you at the address you ve given us want to change the account your Child Benefit is paid into get married, enter into a civil partnership or start living with someone as if you re married or in a civil partnership and both of you get Child Benefit stop living with your partner and both of you are getting Child Benefit we can then pay the higher rate of Child Benefit for the eldest child in both families Leaving the UK You must tell us straightaway if you leave: the UK and don t intend to return for at least a year we treat this as leaving permanently the UK temporarily for more than 8 weeks, or more than 12 weeks because you re ill, or a member of your family is ill or has died for more than 8 weeks, moving from either England, Scotland or Wales (Great Britain) to go to Northern Ireland Northern Ireland to go to Great Britain European Economic Area (EEA) nationals You must tell us straightaway if you re an EEA national and: you lose your job your partner (if you have one) loses their job and you re not working neither you or your partner (if you have one) earn 155 (gross) or more a week 5

6 Other changes you must tell us about You must tell us straightaway if: you re not a European Economic Area national and the Home Office changes your immigration status you or your partner (if you have one) start paying social security contributions to a country outside the UK you or your partner (if you have one) get a social security benefit from a country outside the UK you or your partner (if you have one) start work outside the UK you start getting paid by a local authority (in Northern Ireland, a Health and Social Services Board or Trust) for a child you re looking after the person who gets Child Benefit dies Changes that happen to a child You must tell us straightaway if a child: is expected to live away from you for more than 56 days in any 16-week period has lived away from you for at least one day each week in the last 8 weeks and they are being looked after by a local authority (in Northern Ireland, a Health and Social Services Board or Trust) or a voluntary organisation expected to be detained in secure or non-secure accommodation leaves the UK for between 12 and 52 weeks leaves the UK for more than 52 weeks we treat this as permanent leaves either Great Britain to go to Northern Ireland permanently Northern Ireland to go to Great Britain permanently is in hospital for 12 weeks or more is in residential accommodation which is provided because of their disability or health You don t need to tell us about children away at boarding school in the UK who come home in the school holidays. You must also tell us straightaway if a child: changes their name starts to get tax credits, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit 6

7 marries, enters into a civil partnership, or starts living with someone as if they re married or in a civil partnership dies (you may get support for an extra 8 weeks) Continuing in full-time non-advanced education or approved training We ll write to you to find out if a child aged 16 or over is continuing in full-time non-advanced education or approved training and, if so, the date you expect them to leave that education or approved training. You must tell us if they leave this education or training before the date you ve given us. For more information, go to pages 3 and 4 What type of education counts for Child Benefit. You must also tell us straightaway if a child is aged 16 or over and: can t attend full-time non-advanced education or approved training reduces the time they get supervised study at school or college to an average of 12 hours a week or less starts a course of advanced education for example, NVQ level 4 or above, teacher training or a degree starts being educated somewhere other than a school or college for example, at home leaves full-time non-advanced education or approved training and starts work for 24 hours or more a week for which payment is expected or received starts approved training which is provided by a contract of employment starts full-time non-advanced education which is provided by an employer or as part of any other job or role that they have starts a course which is not an approved training course stops being registered with a careers service, Connexions, local authority support service or similar organisation Tell us about any changes straightaway It s quick and easy to tell us online, go to Phone the Child Benefit helpline Write to us to report your changes Please see page 11 for how to contact us. 7

8 Your child leaves education or training Before 31 August following their 16th birthday Your child might not be staying in education or training that counts for Child Benefit after age 16. If so, your Child Benefit will usually stop for them on 31 August after their 16th birthday. If your child turns 16 on 31 August, your payments will stop then. After 31 August following their 16th birthday Your child might carry on in education or training, but leave at a later date, for example, at age 18 or 19. Your payments will normally continue until the week that includes the earliest of: the last day of February 31 May 31 August 30 November The above dates don t apply and your payments will stop straightaway where your child starts: paid work for 24 hours or more a week getting certain benefits, such as income-based Jobseeker s Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, tax credits or Universal Credit in their own right Child Benefit for under 18s who leave education or training We may be able to extend your Child Benefit for up to 20 weeks if your child is 16 or 17 and has left full-time non-advanced education or approved training and registered for work, education or training with a qualifying body. To get the extension you ll need to apply for it. Who qualifies for the extension To qualify, your child needs to be registered with any of the following qualifying bodies. These are: the local careers service Connexions a local authority support service or similar organisation (in Northern Ireland, the Department for Employment and Learning or an education and library board) 8

9 the Ministry of Defence for example, if your child is waiting to join Her Majesty s forces a similar organisation to others in this list in any European Economic Area you need to have been entitled to Child Benefit for your child immediately before the start of the extension period How to apply for an extension You can apply: online, go to by phoning the Child Benefit Helpline by writing to us You need to apply within 3 months of the date your child finishes education or training that counted for Child Benefit. The extension normally lasts up to 20 weeks and starts on the first Monday after your child finishes education or training that counted for Child Benefit. The extension will end if your child: has their 18th birthday starts paid work for 24 or more hours a week gets Income Support, income-based Jobseeker s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, tax credits or Universal Credit in their own right stops being registered for work, education or training with a qualifying body You should tell us straightaway about any of these changes. Getting your money We usually pay Child Benefit every 4 weeks direct into a bank or building society account or Post Office card account. You can get your money every week if: you re bringing up a child or children on your own you or your partner (if you have one) are getting Income Support income-based Jobseeker s Allowance 9

10 Pension Credit income-related Employment and Support Allowance Universal Credit If you re a Crown servant working outside the UK, we normally pay Child Benefit direct into a UK bank account. If you ve an Individual Savings Account (ISA) there is a limit on the amount that you can pay into these accounts. Your bank or building society will reject your Child Benefit payment if it takes you over that limit. Other things you might need to know National Insurance credits Before 6 April 2010, if you got Child Benefit for a child under 16, you automatically qualified for a scheme called Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP), which helped to protect your State Pension. From 6 April 2010, for each week that you re entitled to Child Benefit for a child under 12, you ll get weekly National Insurance credits to protect your future entitlement to State Pension. If you reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2010, we convert any complete tax years of HRP into qualifying years. We can convert up to 22 years of HRP into qualifying years for State Pension. Earnings Factor credits Before 6 April 2010, if you got Child Benefit for a child under 6, you automatically built up entitlement to an additional pension through State Second Pension. From 6 April 2010, for each week that you re entitled to Child Benefit for a child under 12, you ll get weekly Earnings Factor credits to protect your future entitlement to the State Second Pension. You ll be able to combine National Insurance and Earnings Factor credits with other qualification routes, such as National Insurance contributions, in order to build up a year of entitlement. For more information, go to You can also go to 10

11 Your rights and obligations Your Charter explains what you can expect from us and what we expect from you. For more information, go to How to contact us To report a change It s quick and easy to report a change using our secure online service. Go to Over 3 million people are using their Personal Tax Account, the new way to check your information and make changes. It s quick, easy and secure and is available 24 hours a day. It takes just a few moments to set up and you can update any changes to Child Benefit online through your Personal Tax Account. For more information or help Go to phone our helpline or write to us. If you are in the UK Phone Textphone If your preferred language is Welsh Write to Child Benefit Office PO Box 1 NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE NE88 1AA If you are overseas Phone Textphone When you contact us, tell us your: full name National Insurance number Child Benefit number daytime phone number 11

12 These notes are for guidance only and reflect the position at the time of writing. They do not affect any right of appeal. HMRC Digital Services October 2016 Crown copyright HMRC 10/16

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