Child Benefit changes: how much will payments increase in 2021 - and who is eligible to claim?
The amount millions of families receive will increase marginally for the new tax year
The UK government has now announced that child benefit will increase, benefiting millions of children across the country.
Child benefit payments are set to increase in the next tax year, with all parents and guardians of a child aged 16 able to claim if they are the primary guardian.
There is no means testing to receive this payment, though some incomes caps do exist.
So, what can I expect to receive from April 2021, and when will it be paid? This is what you need to know.
Who is entitled to receive child benefit payments?
Parents of all children under the age of 16, and some young people under the age of 20 who are in specific training courses or full-time education are entitled to child benefit.
This is paid to their primary carer, with only one parent or guardian allowed to receive the payment.
Child Benefit is paid at the same rate for every parent in the UK - it does not vary depending on your income. Guardians are also entitled to claim, though a different amount is offered.
Although in theory all parents of children are entitled to Child Benefit, if the claimant or their partner earns more than £50,000 a year individually they will need to pay back some of the Child Benefit as Income Tax.
One percent of a family’s Child Benefit will need to be paid back for every £100 earned over £50,000 each year. If the claimant or their partner earns over £60,000 in a year, all Child Benefit claimed will need to be paid back.
However if you and your partner both earn below £50,000 individually, even if it equates to more than £50,000, you are still eligible to claim the full amount.
How much do I receive in Child Benefit currently?
Every parent who is the primary caregiver of a child should be entitled to receive child benefits, claimed on behalf of their parent or guardian.
You will receive a higher amount for your first child, then all children thereafter will receive the same amount.
At present, Child Benefit is paid at the following rates:
- First/eldest child: £21.05 per week
- Every additional child: £13.95 per week
What are the changes to Child Benefit in tax year 2021/2022?
From April 12, payments will increase by 10p for every first child and 5p for all additional children.
Therefore, eligible parents will receive:
- £21.15 per week for an eldest
- £14.00 per week for any additional children
The new monthly payments will be £84.60 for an eldest or only child and £56 for any additional children.
Guardian’s Allowance will increase from £17.90 per week to £18.00.
Will the date I receive Child Benefit be the same?
At present, Child Benefit is paid every four weeks on a Monday or Tuesday. Claimants are also awarded National Insurance credits which can count towards their State Pension.
The date on which you receive your payments should not change in the new tax year.
How do I claim child benefit?
Child Benefit claims can be submitted from 24 hours after you register the birth of your child or adopt a child.
It can take 6 to 12 weeks to process a new Child Benefit claim (or longer if you’re new to the UK) and it can be backdated for up to 3 months.
Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child, the person who claims will get National Insurance credits towards their state pension if they are not working or earn less than £183 per week.
If you are claiming for the first time, fill in the Child Benefit claim form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office.
For children who are adopted, you will also need to send their original adoption certificate with the form. If you do not have the certificate you need, you can apply for a new one and in the meantime, send your claim and send the certificate once you’ve got it.
If your child’s birth was registered outside the UK you must include their original birth certificate and passport or travel document used to enter the UK.
If you wish to add a child to an existing claim (ie, if you give birth or adopt a second child), you will need to register them before they are six months old by calling the Child Benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100. Otherwise, you will need to begin a new claim via post.For more information, access the Child Benefit section of the UK Government website.