The Government gives you nearly £1000 a year for your first child, and over £600 a year for each subsequent one. Dad.Info helps you to make sure you get this important universal benefit.
Child Benefit is given monthly for every child in the UK. It's a universal benefit (it doesn't depend on how much you earn), and it's tax-free.
It's paid to anyone bringing up a child or young person (although it's not quite that simple if you're separated from the child's mother ).
Who is eligible?
It's paid for every child until the age of 16 (or up to 19, if they’re still in education). You don't need to be the parent of the child, but you do have to be responsible for them. You may be entitled to Guardian Allowance if you're not the parent of the child, but you are raising them.
How much is it worth?
In the current financial year (2007 - 2008), Child Benefit is:
- £18.10 for your first child
- £12.10 for each subsequent child
It is normally paid four weekly, but can be paid weekly if you're a single parent or receiving income support or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.
How do I get it?
You should apply as soon as your baby is born, or a child becomes your responsibility.
After finishing the form you need to post it to the Child Benefit Office with the child’s original birth certificate or adoption certificate.
What if I'm separated?
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 one parent. They will pay it to the resident parent only.
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 holding the child benefit book.
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.