Child Benefit | Complete Guide to Child Benefit | Helping families save for the future
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Budgeting
Child Benefit
Every penny counts!
Child Benefit
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 you need to claim.
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
Freepost
NEA 10463
PO Box 133
Washington
NE38 7BR
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!  
What is it?
So, what is Child Benefit?
Child benefit is a tax-free payment, paid into your bank account every 4 weeks. You can get it paid weekly if you are a single parent or receive income support.
Am I entitled to it?
If you’re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they are in approved education or training) then you can claim, but remember that only one person can claim for a child.
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.
What do I get?
What do I get?
These are the current rates for child benefit. These are fixed until April 2014.
Who are you claiming for? The amount you get per week
Eldest or only child £20.30
Additional children (per child) £13.40
Guardian’s Allowance* £14.75
*If you are bringing up someone else’s child and are claiming child benefit for them, then you can receive this non-taxable benefit in addition to the amount you already receive. Find out more and apply.
Is there a cap?
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.
What if I haven’t claimed yet?
You can backdate child benefit for up to three months from the date that the Child Benefit Office receive your claim. Every little helps towards the home budget so it’s vital that you apply as soon as your child is born, or you begin to foster or adopt a child.