Child Benefit

Did you know, if you have children you are eligible to claim for Child Benefit for each of them. Find out more with Dad.Info about this important benefit and how to get it.





It's paid for every child until the age of 16 (or up to 20, if they’re still in education). Only one person can claim Child Benefit for a child, so if you are separated, it is the resident parent for each child who will get the payment.

Everyone is entitled to claim Child Benefit, but you may need to pay a tax charge if you, or your partners’, individual income is above £50,000.

If you do not wish to claim Child Benefit (most often this is due to being taxed on it if you do) you can decline the payments, but it is recommended that you fill in the claim form as this ensures that your child is registered to get a National Insurance Number when they turn 16.

If your circumstances or preferences change and you wish to restart payments later on, you can still do this. 


 In the current financial year (2017-2018) the weekly rate for Child Benefit is: 

  • £20.70 for your first child
  • £13.70 for each subsequent child 

It is normally paid four weekly, but can be paid weekly if you're a single parent or receiving certain benefits like income support.  


You should apply as soon as your baby is born, or a child becomes your responsibility. It can take up to 12 weeks to process a new Child Benefit claim, and payment can only be backdated for three months.

 You can do this by filling in a Child Benefit Claim Form CH2, which you will need to send to the Child Benefit Office, along with their birth or adoption certificate. If you don’t have the birth/adoption certificate, send in the paperwork anyway, and send on the certificate just as soon as you can.   


 If you're separated from the mother of your child, the Government will not pay Child Benefit to both of you - it will only pay it to the resident parent. 

Note that Child Benefit is what is known as a gateway benefit. This means that many of the other benefits that are offered to parents (e.g. housing assistance) are paid to the parent in receipt of child benefit. 

Of course, if you've got more than one child between you, you could always think about each of you receiving Child Benefit for one of the children. This way, you may both be eligible for other benefits, such as housing benefits.  



Updated: September 2017

Hide comments (42)


  • Guest
    tomgrace Wednesday, 01 June 2016

    Child benefit is really beneficial for the parents to meet the requirements of their child. It very much make you easy in case your income is low. My both child are living with me and I am availing this facility. At first there was some confusion in my mind when I visited here and go deep into the matter, picture was clear to me.

  • Guest
    Sarah Monday, 22 August 2016

    50:50 care

    My child lives with me and her mother 50:50 care half week with me other half her who should claim the child benefit

  • Guest
    Billy Monday, 22 August 2016

    Child benefit

    Hi two children aged 11 and 18 year old who is in college. My expartner (wife) and mother of both children claims for both children. The 11'year old is 50 50 shared care and during the schools hols I take him away for holidays. I pay for the majority of clothing etc and have tried to claim the CB but have been turned down, appealed and once again turned down again. The letter states we both satisfy the requirements but can only be paid I understand that but does it have to be the mother?!

  • Guest
    JonG Tuesday, 27 September 2016

    Child benefit

    In response to the above comment - I have three children and am divorced from the children's mother. Although I have the children on a strict 50:50 basis and pay half for all clothes, food etc,I have never seen a penny of the child benefit. When I called to enquire about this, I was told that I have no entitlement. Recently I also lost my job and have been forced to claim income support. Because I am not in receipt of child benefit I receive no assistance for the children or any of their needs. The four of us are now trying to survive on £73 a week. Speaking as a man who cares for his children and has contributed seamlessly to Britain for over 25 years in taxes, stamps etc. I feel extremely betrayed by the institutions of this country. Society only views men like myself as contributors and nothing more - when we have a genuine need we are simply ignored. The best advice that I was given by the job centre was to write to my MP - or the tooth fairy or the great spirit in the sky - it's all the same. My advice to any young dads starting out it to get the child benefit paid into your account - that way you may still have some entitlement if you ever get divorced. I know it sounds cynical but it's the truth.

    Reply Cancel
  • Guest
    MacA Friday, 17 February 2017

    Great Advice JonG

    I really feel for you Jon and I'm sure this, as well as your response, will be of interest to other fathers. I am currently separated and filing for divorce today as it happens. I'm lucky I've been able to hold down my job and still have my daughter. I really had to work hard taking an alcoholic mother to court to protect my daughter from harm. Saying that it really wasn't easy. Her being caught drinking between every court date helped but the outcome has been a 4/3 split each week in my favour with a movement to proper 50/50 in 6 months. I've no doubt that if I had been the one with the drink problem I'd be lucky to see my daughter once a week and would lose the house and everything else. Even mediation was biased towards the mother. My ex doesn't work and has asked me to transfer the Child Benefit to her as it does unlock more benefits for her. I've always been the one to deal with lifes admin so it was me that submitted the request for child benefit when she was born. This is the important bit. It is usually the person who has the Child Benefit who can claim the Child Maintenance from the other and I'm keeping the Child Benefit in my name for two reasons. The first is that my daughter currently legally lives with me (CB should go to the parent the child resides with) and the second is that I know that my ex, when we do go for 50/50 shared care, will still try to claim Maintenance from me if she can. I have spoken to HRMC about this and I have been told specifically that if we have a shared care 50/50 arrangement neither owes the other Child Maintenance. While this is right and fair the system still does favour the mother and while they have told me this it is not cast iron. Even with a full 50/50 split mothers can come after fathers for Child Maintenance if the Child Benefit is in their name. Unfair but something more fathers should be aware of. I don't want anyone to think I won't provide for my daughter, I'm just protecting myself and my daughter from a mother who relies on the bias of the system to say she wants to be free of he but not my money.
    If this post helps just one decent father I'll be happy. Good luck fellow dads.

  • Guest
    IAN FOWLER Saturday, 14 October 2017

    Ian fowler

    Sounds like your life is like mine what a struggle to support your family its madness dads who care why is it not fair I take my hat of to you from DAD x

  • Guest
    Iest Sunday, 04 March 2018

    Child Maintenance & Chikd Benefit

    This is a very difficult subject and one which has frustrated me. I’ve had custody of my son for the last three years. Mother has constantly undermined the court orders but has now managed to get pretty much 50:50. She is still due to pay child maintenance and has lost two appeals to stop paying / she’s on attachment of earnings as she refused to pay for 18mths.

    She’s now targeting child benefit to get it stopped and claiming to be the lead parent and causing hell. I’ve had to involve the police as she’s also targeted my employer and making multiple false and malicious statements to cause me lots of difficulty.

    Bottom line is if she gets the child benefit she will no longer have to pay child maintenance.

    As with other comments, if I had behaved half as bad as her I am sure I wouldn’t have access yet alone anything else.

    I’m not anti this or that, but I do feel that I am always penalised for doing the right thing, have been the victim of malicious and hateful acts and my life being controlled by an individual who uses & plays the system for personal gain.

    There is no equality as far as I’m concerned

  • Guest
    Gary Sunday, 19 February 2017


    Added to that, I am in similar situation , the children are with me 50% of the time , and I have found another hole with the system. I recently decided to look into council renting as private renting is killing me , the council's stance is I can't apply for a 3bed house (myself, New wife, one stepdaughter and 2 of my children) because I don't claim the child benefit so they are not deemed as my dependants !

  • Guest
    Graham smallwood Thursday, 23 February 2017

    G S

    I am fighting a very similar fight and getting the same result. I have my boy more than half the time and have provided a comprehensive list of dates that show a clear 90+ days that he stays with me as well as a cafcass letter and court letter that shows 50/50 care but she won the decision for child benefit as her proof was better than mine according to the child benefit people, they wont tell me what she said so I have no idea what I am challenging. For the last five months I have met all expenses for my son but as she has now got the benefit she is now going for back dated child maintenance despite everything I have paid for, utterly devastated that they basically take her word over mine?
    I honestly dont know what to do.

  • Guest
    Gazza Tuesday, 11 September 2018


    When you say you have more time with son, then you say you have 90 days. How many nights a year do you/she have? Is it court ordered? Who is son registered with at school, doctors, Dentist?
    If you have a court order saying he lives with you more nights than mum, then all addresses should be your address, and child benefit should go to you.

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