Child support is a tax-free benefit that you can claim if you have children – both employed and unemployed people can claim.
The payment is usually made monthly and it can be claimed by anyone who qualifies, whatever your income or savings. We explain…
Can I get child benefit?
You are eligible for child benefit if…
- You're responsible for a child (you do not have to be their parent)
- You don’t live with your child but you pay to look after them (if the people looking after them don’t claim benefits for the same child)
- Your child is under 16 or under 20 and in an eligible form of education
How can I claim?
The only way to claim child benefit is to fill in a claim form. You can get the form from the Bounty Pack given to new mothers in hospital or you can fill it out online and print it off. Once you’ve filled out the form you need to post it to the Child Benefit Office with your child’s birth or adoption certificate.
When should I claim?
Straight away! You can only back-date child benefit by three months maximum so the sooner you apply after your child is born the better.
How much child benefit you get depends on how many children you have.
- You’ll receive £20.30 a week in child benefit for your oldest child
- You’ll receive £13.40 a week in child benefit for each of your other children
How is it paid?
Child benefit is usually paid directly into your bank, building society, or National Savings and Investments account and is usually paid every four weeks.
If you are on other benefits then it can be made weekly.
Don't forget your other benefits!
If you able to get child benefit - or even if you're not - there are lots of other benefits you should look into as well...
Jobseekers allowance - to help pay for day-to-day living.
Housing benefit - Help with the rent
Council tax benefit - Watch your council tax bill disappear!
Other unemployment benefits - our guide to everything you need to know if you're unemployed.