Child Benefit

For something so small they don't half cost a lot of money. Fear not, help is at hand. Child Benefit is worth a monthly payment of at least £85; more if you have more than one child.

What is Child Benefit?

Child benefit offers extra support with childcare costs for parents and guardians. Child benefit payments are worth £21.80 a week for your eldest child and £14.45 for every additional child.
It isn’t taxed and your income doesn’t affect it, unless you are a high earner earning over £50,000.
It’s normally paid to the parent the child lives with, but that’s not always the case. However, only one parent can claim it.

Who’s eligible?

Anyone who’s responsible for a child (even if you’re not their parent) who is:

You’re also entitled to get Child Benefit if your child doesn’t live with you, providing you:

  • pay towards their upkeep giving at least the same amount of Child Benefit
  • the person your child lives with is not getting Child Benefit for them

You cannot usually claim Child Benefit for a child who’s in local authority care (although you may receive it for the first eight weeks), or in prison. For more advice, contact the Child Benefit office, or call the Child Benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100.

Will I get the full amount?

How much you get depends on what you earn. Child Benefit used to be given to all parents – including those with a six-figure salary. However, this all changed in 2013, so here’s how it works:

  • The full amount of Child Benefit is paid to parents who earn under £50,000 – even if both parents earn £50,000.
  • Those earning over £50,000 will still be entitled to Child Benefit, but will have to pay a tax on the benefit at a rate of 1% for every £100 earned over that amount. (For example, if you’re earning £55,000, you’ll get 50% less Child Benefit.)
  • If one parent earns more than £60,000 in a tax year, you’ll be taxed so much it will cancel out the Child Benefit.

How do I claim?

Use a Child Benefit claim form CH2, which you can find in your ‘Bounty Pack’ from the hospital. Or you can complete a form online.

If you receive child benefit and also work a certain number of hours per week, you may also be able to claim working tax credits. If you’re not able to work, you may also be able to claim national insurance credits.

For more information on your benefits entitlement check a benefits calculator.

How will I be paid?

Payment is normally made every four weeks into a bank, building society, credit union account, Post Office card account, or National Savings account through Direct Payment.

In some situations you can get it paid weekly, for example if you’re a single parent, or you or your partner/civil partner are getting income support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

If you claim late, you can get it backdated for up to three months. If you’d like help claiming backdated Child Benefit, you can speak to someone at a Citizens Advice Bureau.

What to do if your circumstances change

Remember to tell your benefits advisor if your circumstances change, for example, if you get a pay rise, new job, or get married. If you don’t you could face a £50 fine, as well as having to pay back any extra benefit. See GOV.UK for more information.

Unfortunately we are unable to offer benefits advice at The Mix, but we can give emotional support and guide you to the best places for expert advice if you give us a call on 0808 808 4994

Benefits for son with ADHD

“I’m a single mother and my son has recently been diagnosed with ADHD. Does this entitle me to any benefits?”

It’s possible for a child suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to be classed as disabled and so to be entitled to a statement of special educational needs. As such, your son could be entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Child Tax Credits

If he’s granted DLA, you may be entitled to extra help through Child Tax Credits. There are many factors involved in working out how much you might be entitled to, but you can get a rough idea by using this calculator.

You may be able to get some advice about ADHD and DLA from The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service (ADDISS), or the charity Contact a Family.

If you’d like support with applying for DLA or tax credits, your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) will be able to advise you. In addition, many CABs are able to help you with filling in forms.

Next Steps



By Holly Turner

Updated on 07-Jun-2021