Parents of GCSE students warned of the need to update their Child Benefit claim

Parents with teenagers who plan to stay in education after this summer’s GCSEs are being warned of the need to extend their Child Benefit claim.

Payments automatically stop on the last day of August, after a child’s 16th birthday, unless parents notify officials that their child is staying in approved education or training.

Families can claim for children older than 16 who are remaining in education. Image: iStock.
Families can claim for children older than 16 who are remaining in education. Image: iStock.

More than a million parents are affected and will be sent reminders between now and July 17, says HMRC, explaining how they can continue claiming financial support.

Child Benefit is worth up to £1,331 a year for the first or only child, and up to £881 a year for each additional child.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “Child Benefit is an important financial support for many families, so make sure you don’t miss out on any payments if your teenager intends to continue approved education or training.

“You can quickly and easily extend your claim online or via the HMRC app, just search ‘Child Benefit when your child turns 16’ on GOV.UK.”

Payments for teenagers staying in education stop after their GCSEs unless parents renew their claim. Image: iStock.
Payments for teenagers staying in education stop after their GCSEs unless parents renew their claim. Image: iStock.

The letters being sent to 1.4 million households will also include a QR code which, when scanned, takes families straight to GOV.UK where they can update their current claim quickly and easily online.

Parents have until August 31 to do so before the money will otherwise be stopped.

Child Benefit can continue to be paid for children who are studying full time in approved education or training. This includes:

*A levels or Scottish Highers

*International Baccalaureate

*Home education - if it started before a child turned 16, or after 16 if they have a statement of special educational needs and it was assessed by the local authority

*T levels

*NVQs, up to level 3.

If a child later changes their mind about further education or training, parents can contact HMRC online or via the app and payments will be adjusted.

Child Benefit payments are ordinarily paid every four weeks to families. Stock picture.
Child Benefit payments are ordinarily paid every four weeks to families. Stock picture.

Families cannot claim Child Benefit if their child is taking a training course that is part of a job contract.

Parents will need a Government Gateway user ID and password to use HMRC’s online services. People without one can register on GOV.UK using their National Insurance number or postcode and two forms of ID.

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