For many UK parents, child benefit can significantly bolster their yearly income. However, the clock is ticking, with the cutoff on August 31st for children turning 16 and leaving education or training.
Don’t let the upcoming deadline catch you off-guard and risk losing up to £1,248 annually for your eldest or only child and £826.80 for each additional child.
Key Dates to Remember
Besides the fast-approaching August end, there are three other crucial dates to note for children between 16-20 years:
- November 30, 2023
- February 29, 2024 (Note: the date «February 209, 2024» seems to be a typo. It’s likely meant to be «February 29, 2024».)
- May 31, 2024
Keep the Benefits Flowing
Even if your child is nearing the cutoff age, you can still secure your benefits. Inform the Child Benefit Office that they are continuing with their education or training.
Typically, you’ll receive a letter in their final school year to confirm their plans.
- A levels, T levels, Scottish Highers, and equivalent.
- Vocational qualifications up to level 3.
- Home education under certain conditions.
- Traineeships in England.
Unpaid approved training also counts, with programmes across Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
Special Extensions Available
Some households might qualify for a 20-week extension after their child completes their education or training. Conditions include registration with certain career services or enlisting in the armed forces.
Eligibility & Application
Are you entitled to child benefit? If you’re in the UK, looking after a child under 16, or a child under 20 in approved education/training, you are. Remember, only one person can claim if multiple parties share childcare responsibilities.
To apply: Simply fill out the Child Benefit claim form CH2 and dispatch it to: Child Benefit Office (GB), Washington, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, NE88 1ZD.
Do start early, as processing can take up to four months.
Earning Over £50,000?
Yes, you can still claim. But be wary of the High Income Child Benefit Charge. When you cross the £50,000 threshold, the benefit becomes taxable, and by £60,000, the tax erases the entire benefit.
But claiming still has its advantages: consider stashing the benefit in a high-interest savings account or leveraging it for automatic NI enrolment and state pension protection.
Act now, safeguard your benefits, and ensure your family enjoys the support it deserves.