These benefits are open to everyone who is responsible for bringing up a child under 16 years old, or a young person under 20 who are in full-time education or on approved training courses.
From April 12, these rates are changing and there are no limits to how many children a parent or guardian can claim for in Scotland.
Here is what you need to know.
What are Child Benefit payments?
Child Benefit is a payment made to people who are responsible for bringing up a child aged below 16, or a young person under 20 years old if they are still in full-time education or on certain approved training courses.
There is no limit to how many children a parent or guardian can claim for and it is also a non-means tested benefit.
This means income below £50,000 and savings do not impact the amount a person receives and you do not need to have paid any National Insurance contributions to get it.
How much is the Child Benefit payment rate for 2021/22?
Currently, there are two Child Benefit rates in place in Scotland.
For the eldest or only child, recipients currently receive £21.05 per week and for any additional children, they get £13.95 per week.
There is no limit on how many children can be claimed for but only one person can receive the benefit payment.
However, from April 12, these rates will increase by 10p and 5p respectively per week.
This means that the new monthly payments will be £84.60 for an eldest or only child and £56.00 for any additional children.
Guardian’s Allowance will also increase from £17.90 per week to £18.00.
How is Child Benefit paid?
Payment of the benefit will be paid every four weeks, on a Monday or Tuesday, and it will also be awarded National Insurance credits which can count towards their State Pension.
There are different payment dates if it is due on a bank holiday.
You can get Child Benefit paid weekly if you are a single parent or if you or your partner are getting certain benefits, such as Income Support.
At what age do Child Benefit payments stop?
Child Benefits can be claimed for any children below the age of 16, or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training.
Payments may also have stopped because:
- You haven’t told the Child Benefit Office your bank has changed or about your child’s education plans after they turn 16
- You haven’t replied to a letter from the Child Benefit Office
- Your child now lives with someone else
- You are no longer eligible to claim Child Benefit
What if families split up?
If a family splits up, you get £21.05 a week for the eldest child but if you both claim for the same child, only one of you will get Child Benefit for them.
However, if you have two children and one stays with you and the other stays with your ex-partner, you’ll both get £21.05 a week for each child.
What happens if families join together?
If two families join together, the eldest child in the new family qualifies for the £21.05 rate and any other children who are eligible will get the £13.95 rate.
What if you or your partner earn over £50,000?
You can get Child Benefit if your (or your partner’s) individual income is over £50,000, but you may be taxed on the benefit. This is known as the High-Income Child Benefit Tax Charge.
If the claimant or their partner earns more than £50,000 a year they will need to pay back some of the Child Benefit as Income Tax.
One per cent of the family’s Child Benefit will need to be paid back for every £100 earned over £50,000 each year. If over £60,000 is earned in a year then all of the Child Benefit claimed will need to be paid back.
What if your circumstances change?
Any changes in circumstances that may affect a claimant’s eligibility must be reported to the Child Benefit office immediately.
Anyone can claim child benefit if they are responsible for a child, but earnings may have an effect on the payments.
It is possible to stop or restart a claim at any point and free support is available for anyone who needs help with their application.
For more information on Child Benefit, visit GOV.UK.
How to claim
You can claim Child Benefit as soon as you have registered the birth of your child, or they come to live with you.
If you’re not able to register the birth of your child because of Covid-19, you can still make a claim to receive Child Benefit.
It can take six to 12 weeks to process a new Child Benefit claim (or longer if you’re new to the UK). Child Benefit can be backdated for up to three months.
Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child, so you need to decide whether it’s better for you or the other parent to claim.
The person who claims will get National Insurance credits towards their state pension if they are not working or earn less than £183 per week.
If you are making a claim for the first time you should fill in Child Benefit claim form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office.