Child Benefit

Young Girl Holding Up Her Piggy BankChild Benefit is paid to a parent, guardian or carer of a child under 16 years old, or 20 years old if the child stays in full time education. You do not necessarily have to live with the child to receive this benefit, for example if you are separated, but only one parent can receive it. 

If you earn more than £50,000 a year, you may have to pay a tax known as the 'High Income Child Benefit Charge', or choose not to receive Child Benefit. If you or your partner earns more than £60,000 and you claim Child Benefit then HMRC will claim it back.

If your child is 18 and fulfills certain criteria, you can have your Child Benefit extended for up to 20 weeks. To do this, the child must have left education or training that counts for Child Benefit. If they have done this, but are due to start a job, begin a form of training with a ‘qualifying body’ (such as a careers service), or are due to begin a form of education, you may be able to get this 20 week extension. 

               When you can claim Child Benefit for a child who is 16-19 years old 

If your child is 16-19 years old and studying for one of the qualifications below, you may be able to claim Child Benefit for them: You will not be able to claim Child Benefit if your child is 16-19 years old and:
  • GCSEs, A levels and iGCSEs
  • International Baccalaureate
  • NVQ/SVQ level 1, 2 or 3
  • BTEC, National Certificate and 1st Diploma
  • SCE higher grade or similar
  • England - Foundation Learning programmes, or Access to Apprenticeships
  • Wales - Foundation Apprenticeships, Traineeships and Skill build (if started before 1 August 2011)
  • Scotland – Employability Fund programmes, Get Ready for Work (if started before 1 April 2013 or Skill seekers (if started before 1 April 2011).
  • Northern Ireland – Job skills or Training for Success: Professional and Technical Training, including Programme Led Apprenticeships (Apprenticeships NI) and Pathways to Success - Pathways for Young People
  • College based course that is full time and non advanced
  • in education that counts for Child Benefit in a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or in some cases Switzerland 
  • studying for a degree
  • taking a Diploma of Higher Education (DHE), NVQ (level 4 or above)
  • studying for a BTEC Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • undertaking teacher training
  • gaining education provided by an employer
  • in education provided through being a scout leader or     councillor
  • getting training or education that is part of a paid job
  • undertaking a college based sandwich course where periods are spent doing practical training with an employer
  • getting work-based training - where your child is employed as an apprentice or trainee, and takes a full-time college or school course


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