Child Benefit warning to over a million households as payments set to stop

A student sitting a GCSE maths exam
A student sitting a GCSE maths paper as parents are being sent reminders to extend Child Benefit if their son or daughter is carrying on with their education -Credit:PA

More than a million parents are to be issued with an urgent warning that their Child Benefit could be coming to an end this summer. Families must confirm that teenagers are continuing their education or training after their GCSEs to keep receiving the payments.

Child Benefit automatically stops on August 31 after a child has turned 16 unless parents renew the claim if their son or daughter is carrying on with their education. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is sending more than 1.4 million Child Benefit reconfirmation letters to parents between May 24 and July 17.

The letters will include a QR code which, when scanned, directs people straight to GOV.UK to update the claim 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.


Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC 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.

"Parents have until August 31 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. 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.

Child Benefit can continue to be paid for children who are studying full time in approved non-advanced education, which includes A-Levels or Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureate, T levels and NVQs up to Level 3. It can also include home education - if it started before their child turned 16, or after 16 if they have a statement of special educational needs and it was assessed by the local authority.

Child Benefit will also continue for children studying on one of these unpaid approved training courses:

  • in Wales: Foundation Apprenticeships, Traineeships or the Jobs Growth Wales+ scheme

  • in Northern Ireland: PEACEPLUS Youth Programme 3.2, Training for Success or Skills for Life and Work

  • in Scotland: Employability Fund programme and No One Left Behind

If a child changes their mind about further education or training, HMRC says parents can inform officials online or in the app and payments will be adjusted accordingly.

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

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