As belts get tightened, it’s vital that you brace your budget with every penny that you’re entitled to. If you use KidStart to get money back every time you shop, then you’re definitely on the right track - but don’t stop here. Take a spare moment to check that you’re not missing out.
We’ve written this guide to help you understand your child benefit entitlement.
A lengthy, comprehensive source of child-benefit knowledge can be found on the Directgov website here
You can also ring the Child Benefit helpline on 0845 302 1444, but be warned that ringing any 0845 number is costly. Alternatively, dial 0161 210 3086. This is the direct number to the directgov switchboard and the only difference to you in using it will be a far healthier telephone bill! A penny saved is a penny earned.
What do you need to claim Child Benefit?
We’ll give you the real gubbins in a minute, but if you feel that you already know enough and want to get started then download the following form
, complete and post free of charge to the address below:
Child Benefit Office
PO Box 133
Be sure to include the birth or adoption certificate for each child you’re claiming for and don't forget to provide your home address. If you don't, then the Child Benefit Office won't be able to return your birth/adoption certificates or child passport and they’ll have to destroy them. It might be worth making photocopies of your original documents for your own records and as proof if they are lost or mislaid through no fault of your own. Consider sending them by recorded delivery. It’ll cost you a bit extra on the postage, but passports and birth certificates are a real hassle (and very expensive) to replace!
Approved education or training includes GCSEs, A Levels and NVQs, but does not include higher education, such as university. Apprenticeships might count as approved if they are unpaid.
These are the current rates for child benefit. These are fixed until April 2014.
Child benefit used to be a universal benefit. From January 2013, it will be means-tested, although the cut-off point is likely to be £50,000 and you'll have to be earning £60,000 or over to lose out altogether.