Child Benefit makes switch to digital with new claims being processed within days
New parents are being urged not to miss out on £1,200 in extra help by applying online now for additonal help.
For the very first time since it was launched 47 years ago – Child Benefit applications have moved online.
Supporting millions of families with the cost of raising children, it is worth £24 a week – or £1,248 a year - for the oldest or only child while the rate for each additional child is £15.90 a week or close to £827 a year.
Since 1977, families claiming Child Benefit on the birth of a child had to fill out a paper form, post it and wait up to 16 weeks for their first payment.
But a claims process has now been added to the government website which officials say takes around 10 minutes and can see the first payments made in as little as three days.
Suzanne Newton, HMRC’s Interim Director General for Transformation explained: “We know how much parents and guardians rely on Child Benefit to help with essential costs. We’ve made it far easier and quicker for families to claim this crucial help by making it digital.
“Parents and guardians can apply online when it suits them and be paid within days, not weeks. Go to GOV.UK and search ‘Claim Child Benefit online’ and follow the simple steps to apply.”
Parents or guardians can claim Child Benefit payments if they are responsible for bringing up a child who is under 16, or under 20 if they are in approved education or training. There is no limit on the number of children parents can claim for.
Claiming Child Benefit also means the parent will receive National Insurance credits which count towards their State Pension and their child will automatically receive a National Insurance number when they turn 16 years old, which they will need for key milestones including getting their first job, taking a driving test and applying for university finance.
New parents can claim from the day after a child’s birth has been registered and will need the newborn’s birth certificate, their own bank details and National Insurance number and partner’s NI number to complete the form.
Parents with children over three months old who have yet to claim are urged to do so as soon as possible as they can receive up to three months worth of backdated payments.