Child Benefit, along with other state benefits, have remained flat for the last few years. In 2016 George Osborne, the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer, put a freeze in place. This resulted in benefits paying limited amounts while inflation continued to rise.
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As to be expected, some people within the population found this to be unfair and the move was unpopular with many.
However, in late 2019 it was announced that this freeze would end.
Payments will rise by 1.7 percent as the new tax year starts.
The new tax year starts on 6 April 2020 and will end the following April.
Child benefit is a fairly unique benefit as there are few limitations in place.
On top of this, the government actively encourages people to claim the benefit even if they do not need the money.
They do this as the benefit can provide other perks such as boosts to state pension.
Currently, there are two child benefit rates in place which are affected by the amount of children in a family.
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The claimant will receive £20.70 per week for the eldest or only child.
Additional children will result in payments of £13.70 and there is no limit on how many children can be claimed for.
The payments usually come through every four weeks but it may be possible to alter this under certain circumstances.
The benefit can be paid weekly if the claimant is a single parent or they receive other benefits such as income support.
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These payments will rise from next week and the government detail that the child benefit office should be contacted if any payments seem incorrect
From the new tax year, claims for the eldest child will result in payments of £21.05.
Payments for additional children will be £13.93 per week.
It should be noted that only one person can get child benefit for a child so these rates will only apply to one of the parents/guardians.
Child benefit is relatively easy to claim and it can be done as soon as the child’s birth has been registered. According to the government it can take up to 12 weeks to process a claim but it can be backdated by up to three months.
To put in an initial claim a “CH2” form will need to be completed and sent to the child benefit office. If the claimant needs any help with this they can contact a designated child benefit helpline.
It should be noted that claiming child benefit may not be the best choice for some claimants. High earners will need to pay back child benefit if their income exceeds certain thresholds.
People who earn above £50,000 will be required to pay back one percent of their child benefit for every extra £100 they earn over £50,000. Claimants who earn over £60,000 a year will need to repay all of the benefit as income tax.
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