How do I cancel my child benefit? | The Sun

MILLIONS of households across the country can get child benefit to help them with the cost of childcare.

As of August 2021, around 7.09 million families were receiving the benefit.

Most parents in the UK can claim it, but there are still certain eligibility rules that apply.

Here, we explain what child benefit is, who is eligible and how to cancel it.

What is child benefit?

Simply put, child benefit is paid to parents to help with the costs of childcare.

Payments are usually made to you from the government every four weeks.

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By claiming child benefit you also get National Insurance credits that count towards your state pension.

There are two different rates for child benefit.

Parents can claim £21.80 per week for their first child – £87.20 a month.

For any additional children they can claim an extra £14.45 a week – £57.80 a month.

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Who is eligible to receive child benefit?

You normally qualify for child benefit if you live in the UK and are responsible for a child under 16.

But you can also claim the support for a child under 20 if they are in approved education or training.

When two or more people share the responsibility of caring for a child, it can only be claimed by one person.

You'll be responsible for a child if you live with them or you are paying at least the same amount as child benefit towards looking after them.

This might mean you are paying the equivalent amount of child benefit on food, clothes or pocket money.

You should bear in mind, eligibility changes if a child goes into hospital or care and if your child starts to live with someone else.

Usually, you get child benefit for eight weeks after your child goes to live with a friend or relative – as long as they don't make a claim.

But it can continue for longer if you make contributions to your child's upkeep.

Foster parents can also claim child benefit, as long as the council is not paying anything towards their accommodation or maintenance.

Legal guardians or parents adopting a child can also apply for the benefit, but the child has to be living with them.

You will only be able to claim for a short period of time if you leave the UK, for example if you go on holiday or for medical treatment.

For anyone not sure about eligibility, you can contact the Child Benefit Office.

What should I do if my circumstances change?

It's important to report any changes in your personal circumstances to the Child Benefit Office, including the date of the change.

If you don't, you might not get all the money you are entitled to, or may have to give back any money you were overpaid.

Your circumstances might change if, for example, your child turns 16 but is staying in approved education or training.

The government's website says you should also tell the Child Benefit Office straight away if your child:

  • starts paid work for 24 hours a week or more
  • will live away from you for either 8 weeks in a row or more than 56 days in a 16-week period
  • will go abroad permanently or for more than 12 weeks
  • moves to or from Northern Ireland
  • will be in hospital or residential care for more than 12 weeks
  • dies
  • changes their name
  • changes their gender
  • goes missing
  • gets married, forms a civil partnership or starts to live with a partner
  • starts getting certain benefits – Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit, tax credits or Employment and Support Allowance
  • goes to prison for more than 8 weeks

You should also tell them if your family's personal circumstances change too. So this is if:

  • your bank account, name or address changes
  • you change your gender
  • a relationship ends
  • you start a new relationship, for example you move in with a new partner or remarry
  • the child’s parent has died
  • you intend to go abroad for more than 8 weeks
  • you or your partner intend to move abroad permanently or for more than a year
  • you’re a Crown servant leaving the UK for a posting abroad
  • you move to or from Northern Ireland
  • you have a baby, or a child comes to live with you
  • payments or contributions for a child who does not live with you stop or change
  • you’re paid to look after a child by a local council or similar
  • your immigration status changes
  • you lose the right to reside in the UK
  • you get a prison sentence of more than 8 weeks

You might have to tell the Child Benefit Office if your salary goes over £50,000 a year as well.

After this point, you'll have to start paying the high income child benefit charge.

How do I cancel child benefit?

You can opt out of child benefit payments in two ways – either by filling in an online form on the government's website or contacting the Child Benefit Office by phone or post.

The number to call is 0300 200 3100.

The address to send any post to is HM Revenue and Customs – Child Benefit Office, PO Box 1, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE88 1AA, United Kingdom.

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You'll need your government gateway user ID and password to hand to fill in the online form.

If you don't have a user ID you can create one when you fill in the form.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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