Money Matters: Child benefit for 16-19 year olds in full time education

In this week’s Money Matters Column – The Wrekin Housing Group’s Debt and Energy Manager Dan Bebbington looks at how parents can continue to claim benefits for children in full time education.

Child Benefit is an important financial support for many families. These benefit payments will stop on 31 August after a child turns 16, but parents can extend their claim if their child is continuing in approved education or training.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are currently in the process of sending more than 1.4 million Child Benefit letters from now, until 17 July 2024. The letters will include a QR code which, when scanned, directs them straight to GOV.UK to update their claim quickly and easily online.

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.

Child benefit is typically paid every four weeks, on a Monday or Tuesday. You can have the money paid weekly if you’re a single parent or getting certain other benefits, such as income support.

If your 16 to 19 year-old intends to continue in approved education or training, parents can use the online service on GOV.UK or the HMRC app so they do not miss out.

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.

Parents have until 31 August to take action or their payments will automatically stop. Letting HMRC know digitally that a child is continuing in education is the quickest way to get it sorted, with no need to contact us by phone or post.

Child benefit will continue to be paid for children who are studying full time, which can include:

  • A-levels or similar;
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Home education – if it started before their child turned 16 or after 16 if they have special needs;
  • T-levels;
  • NVQs, up to level 3;
  • Traineeships in England.

Any child benefit payments you get will count towards the benefit cap. If you are affected by the cap, you will still get the full amount for your child benefit payments but your other benefits may be reduced.

If you or your partner earn over £50,000 per year you may be taxed on your child benefit. If you earn over £60,000 you will lose all of your benefit to tax.

If a customer has not received their letter by 17 July, there is no need to worry – if eligible, they can still extend their Child Benefit claim via GOV.UK or the HMRC app.

Parents will need a Government Gateway user ID and password to use HMRC’s online services. If they do not have one already, they can register on GOV.UK and will just need their National Insurance number or postcode, and 2 forms of ID.

6th June 2024