In your everyday life, it is normal to face financial problems. There is hardly anyone who has never undergone any kind of strain on their pockets. Especially for people who have families, these types of situations can be very stressful. There are a lot of worries that it brings into your life, especially, if you are a parent. That adds a whole new dimension to the problem and will probably give you sleepless nights.
As for adults, they are responsible for themselves and are capable of turning around the situation that they’re going through. But, that is not the case with children, who are the most affected during financial or any other types of crisis. That’s why the government provides benefits for all those who need monetary assistance to bring up their child. If you’re new to it, you’ll find some more useful information on how much is child benefit.
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How much is Child Benefit? How does the Government provide it?
When you’re bringing up a child, there are many expenses that you have to deal with to ensure a good future for them. If you claim this benefit, you’ll get financial help from the government for that purpose. Before that, three are some conditions that you have to fulfil. However, provided that you meet the required criteria, you’ll start receiving a fixed amount of payment every month.
The amount would depend on the number of children under your responsibility. Moreover, you can claim any number of children, as there are no restrictions on this matter. In case you’re wondering, yes, you can avail the payments until the child reaches 16 years of age. There are some training and educational courses that are approved by the government. You might want to check if your children are enrolled in any of them full-time.
If they are, then you can get benefits for an additional four years, that is until they turn 20. These include cases where your child is undergoing home education on the condition that it began before they crossed the maximum age for getting benefits. You can also apply for it afterwards, in case of special conditions such as dyslexia or physical disability.
Is it available to you?
The first thing you must know is that this benefit is not strictly meant just for parents. A lot of people might have thought that’s how it works. You can claim the benefit even if you have adopted a child, or simply responsible for one.
Apart from that, there are a few other conditions that you must fulfil. First, the child must not be above 16 years of age. As for the minimum age, they have to be at least three months old. From what it seems, this is a very helpful arrangement and you must not ignore it if it applies to you.
The second basic condition is that you must reside in Britain. However, there are exceptions to these criteria in some specific cases. Suppose, you live with a spouse or partner, and are jointly responsible for the child, in such a case, only one of you will be able to claim benefits. In case, the other person has already made the claim, then it won’t be available for you.
When can you say that you’re ready to take responsibility for a child?
There is a fixed definition of being responsible in this case, this indicates that not just anyone can claim the money. They have to fulfil the criteria required for being considered responsible first.
The very first and basic condition is that you must live with the child for whom you’re claiming. Now, it could be that they are living with someone else at the moment. In that case, the payments will continue for about 2 months. After that, they’re supposed to stop. However, you might still be able to continue with the benefits, if you pay for your child’s expenses. The second condition for being considered responsible is that you pay for all the needs of the child for whom you’re making the claim. So, how much is child benefit! Let’s get to know more about it.
Why is it important for you to claim this benefit?
There are some cases where you might not need any financial help in this matter. However, you must also remember that it is available for all people who take responsibility for a child. Not only that, but it will also benefit you in other ways than just with money.
Even if you’re doing well financially, it won’t necessarily be so forever. Thus, when you face a strain on your finances in the future, you’ll be unable to pay for your National Insurance. You would surely want to give priority to the expenses of your child. As a result, that will affect the pension that you receive in the future. So, you would want to prevent any gap in your National Insurance payments. Further, you can do that just by claiming this benefit. It provides you with credits for your national insurance to ensure that your pension doesn’t get affected. Thus, you get to secure yours, as well as your child’s future.
When can you make the claim?
This benefit is available at the time that your child is just three months old. There’s no reason you’d want to make any delay in making the claim, provided that you fulfil the criteria to do so. Seeing how helpful it can be, you must apply for it. In general, you are required to register the birth before you can make the claim. That is currently not possible as the offices where it’s done are closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Thus, you’ll be allowed to claim without registering, so there’s nothing to worry about.
How do you claim this benefit?
It is a very simple process to start payments. All you need to do is get a claim form, fill it with all the information it asks for, and then submit it. You have to send the original copy of the birth certificate in case the child was born in Northern Ireland or abroad.
Otherwise, the information you provide in the form should be enough. In many cases, the claim is made for children who are adopted. In such situations, you also need to send the original copy of the adoption certificate with the form. You would have to send all the required documents to the Child Benefit Office.
Can you ask for an extension?
The payments you receive will automatically stop in case your child has reached the maximum age applicable to them. After that, you might still feel the need for financial help. However, you can’t avail that, in all cases. You can ask the benefits term to be extended, only in certain circumstances.
The first chance you’ll get is when the child joins one of the courses listed as being approved. After that, you’ll be eligible for another extension, in case they leave that and sign up for a job or full-time study, or training under another organization that’s qualified.
Which changes can affect the payments you receive?
While receiving the payments, you probably will face many kinds of changes in circumstances. It could be in the case of your child or the entire family. Some of them don’t have any effect on the money you receive while others do. So, you must report the ones that do. In the case of your child, you have to inform the concerned authorities in case they leave a training or educational course.
You also have to inform them as soon as you can if they have joined any work that requires 4 hours of involvement in a day. Moreover, it will also be affected if your child gets married or went to prison for more than 2 months.
You must also update any changes in your address, name, and status of immigration among other things. All these would affect the payments that you receive.
What if you’re separated from the person jointly responsible with you?
As you know by now, only one of you can receive the benefits when you’re living with each other. Now, you might wonder what happens if you’re separated. This is quite a common problem that people availing this benefit face. In such situations, you’ll simply have to decide which one of you receives the payment. Otherwise, you can leave that up to the concerned authorities. Generally, they would choose you only if you’re the one with whom the child lives most of the time.
How much is Child Benefit in the UK?
According to the latest regulations, you’ll receive a fixed amount based on how many children you have to look after. For the first child, you’ll receive £84.20 per month. If you want, you can also break it up and receive it every week. You have that option if you take care of your child yourself or receive benefits for low income. If you have more children, you’ll be paid £13.95 monthly for each of them.