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
    karl Thursday, 12 January 2017

    this system sucks

    My ex decided to leave me and my children before Christmas, social services put the children with me because of they were missing school and her son is violent and has had sexual issues towards girls, now I haven't been paid any money for my daughters for nearly 3weeks because she is saving for rent to get a property using tax credits and child benefits, she walked out a few weeks before Christmas,it has affected us all, now I'm on the verge of loosing our home because i have no proof of my daughters living with me and the council will not allow me the rooms, I have until the end of the month, she claims all this money, I cant even get free school meals or any rent reduction because of the house, I was full time in work but have had to take sick leave because of the pressure. I now have to go to court to get child benefit signed over, now how ain't this defrauding the system, tax office don't really care.

  • Guest
    Hope to help Sunday, 13 May 2018

    Hope to help

    7 years ago I left a shared mortgage house with my daughter because my ex partner was violent, we had no money (all money was in my ex partners account in their full control) . MY daughter and I had to kip on at my friends house for two weeks before deciding what to do (it was easier because my daughter wasn't in school as only 2 years old and I had no work commitments as I was her full time carer). I then received via my parents address a solicitors letter asking to hand over the property to my ex partner. Due to not being in work however I was entitled to free solicitor advice and I asked in return that my ex partner received all finances so long as received anger management in order to be a fit parent. All I could think about was my daughter's future. I relayed heavily on favours from friends and reaching out for help and within weeks I started tempary jobs to start being able to pay for everything (this required favour after favour and asking friends I knew for help) , I went to the citizens advice bureau for as much info as possible on my situation and they managed to help me find a nursery through the council- based on my child welfare, I went to the council (even though for months they debunked me because I was officially still on a mortgage) it took me going to welfare member staff at the nursery, breaking down, and letters of how the situation was emotionally effecting the home in was living in (overcrowded) the member of staff then kindly came with me to the council office to explain our situation but I still given a blank statement that we still had a roof over our heads albeit in one room of a shared house full time. Their only alternative was to move into homeless accommodation, but because they were so overrun they had to warn me the only place they could offer was withother residents who had drug and alcohol abuse problems and some with sexual convictions. I explained it would be safer sleeping on a park bench for my daughter. They agreed.
    It was only months later while still moving around seeking help from friends that I was finally offered a flat, a small 1.5 bedroom flat but a flat I could actually afford on the hours I could work! It was only once I was settled in an address and able to settle on hours I worked in a reliable job, could I apply for working tax credits. I received child benefit as my ex partner had no contact for a year but that was their choice as they "wanted to get their life together" .
    There was no time throughout that to not be a positive, strong person for my daughter and keep her feelings at the for front.
    Thing is, it really isn't easy when things hit the fan financially or someone screwed you over and help is never just given to you because there's just too many people in desperate situations, but my advice is the very best you can possibly do is reach out and keep reaching, use everyone or anyone is some authority to be aware of your situation and see if they write a letter or aid you in any shape or form. Children will live through a year or two not having a bedroom and you will eventually get there but the very best you can do being a parent is being there for them.
    That is what, from what I read you dad's are doing. That is something precious that your children do NEED. Good on you all,
    Love from a mum.

  • Guest
    Kerry Sunday, 22 January 2017

    Child benefit enquiry

    My children's dad does not work but claims the child benefit. ...i can't claim maintenance as he is on benefits....does anyone know if he should be giving me half of the child benefit because I do not receive a single penny for my 3 children yet they are shared care ????

  • Guest
    MacA Friday, 17 February 2017


    What is the shared care arrangement? Child Benefit should be paid, to my understanding, to the parent the child resides with. If it's shared care where the split is roughly 4 days a week to 3 then the person with 4 would be the person who should receive it. Call Child Maintenance Options. They'll try to guide you through the muddy waters.
    Hope this helps.

  • Guest
    Graham Sunday, 19 February 2017

    I work in socialhousing and over the years have seen instances where parents with more than one child clain the benefit for one child each. that way they have access to all the other benefits and the maintenance sorts itself out as both are responsible t

    I work in socialhousing and over the years have seen instances where parents with more than one child clain the benefit for one child each. that way they have access to all the other benefits and the maintenance sorts itself out as both are responsible to the other. I have even known them to live opposite each other in their respective homes and the kids go back and forth as they please. remember what happens on paper can be different to reallity.

  • Guest
    Liz Dewick Wednesday, 22 February 2017

    Son lives with me but Child Benefit has been awarded to my ex.

    Hi, i don't know how to start but after 12 months of my ex attacking us, he has now applied and now been awarded the Child Benefit for my son, who lives with me is registered as such with School, Doctors, Dentists, Orthodontists, Opticians, school transport etc, the only way i can think he has achieved this is through lying through his teeth, surely the CHB office do checks before awarding the Child Benefit from the Parent with ALL responsibility to the other who basically does nothing. Anyone had any experience of this or how to appeal their decision?
    Thanks in advance for any help x

  • Guest
    hp stream Tuesday, 28 March 2017

    the system is cruel

    hi guys read all post and feel for you all as I'm in the same position seeing as you have 50/50 care try ringing child benefit and put in a rival claim.

  • Guest
    Tommo Friday, 07 April 2017


    I have 50/50 custody, week on week off. Why do I still have to pay maintenance?

  • Guest
    Guest2017 Monday, 10 April 2017

    50/50 care still results in CMS payments

    I feel for so many of the post authors on this list. I am going through something very similar - have had 50/50 shared care for a year, financial settlement nearly completed, but because she receives Child Benefit she is entitled to £352/month in Child Maintenance. I wrote a 2 page letter to CMS with 6 pages of evidential backup (schedules, receipts etc) - they phoned her and asked if she was receiving Child Benefit and that was enough to dismiss anything I had submitted. So, I am now challenging Child Benefit so that we are each the primary carer for 1 of our 2 children. Then, if there is any fairness in this world, child maintenance will cancel each other out. If there are any tips anyone can provide who has been successful in applying for joint child benefit it would be much appreciated.

  • Guest
    Guest Wednesday, 14 June 2017

    Child Maintenance and 50:50 shared care

    As someone who has been through the Child Maintenance issue recently and who has a 50:50 arrangement, it might be worth pointing out that under regulation 50 (2) Child Support Maintenance Calculation regulations 2012 where there is equal shared-care child maintenance would be set at nil as neither parent is entitled to claim child maintenance from the other.

    I had it confirmed in writing that as long as the paying parent i.e. the parent not in receipt of child benefit, can prove that they carry out an equal amount of day-to-day care, as well as having equal shared care (overnight stays) then the Child Maintenance Service regards neither parent to be the paying parent so their child maintenance would be set as nil – even if one parent receives child benefits or tax credits as the child’s parent.

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