When does Child Benefit stop? Know your rights and what has changed
As part of the Spring Budget, the Government extended the availability of free childcare for families in England.
However, the rules on child benefit - which have seen parents lose the benefit or even owing money to the Government - have not been changed.
Child Benefit, given to parents of children under the age of 16, is one of the most common benefits in the UK.
In 2013, the Government decided that people who get child benefit would start losing it once they earn £50,000 a year.
Since then, rising prices mean the amount you can buy with a £50,000 salary has fallen. This means people are being affected by the policy today who are less well-off than when it was introduced.
The allowance equates to £21.80 a week for your eldest or only child, and £14.45 for any additional children.
Children over the age of 16, who are in approved education or training, can also claim the benefit.
If your child is turning 16 this academic year, here’s when you can expect your Child-Benefit payments to stop and how you can apply for an extension.
When does Child Benefit stop?
Child Benefit ends on August 31 on or after your child’s 16th birthday if they leave education or training.
Payments will continue if they stay in approved education or training, but you must tell the Child Benefit office.
Your child must be accepted onto the course before they turn 19. You’ll be sent a letter in your child’s last year at school, asking you to confirm their plans.
The education and training your child continues with must be more than an average of 12 hours a week supervised study or course-related work experience.
Courses are not approved if paid for by an employer or ‘advanced’, for example, a university degree or BTEC Higher National Certificate.
How to apply for an extension
After their education and training ends, your child may still be eligible for Child Benefit for 20 more weeks, called an ‘extension’.
This applies to your child if they signed up to join the armed forces or they register with their local careers service.
You can apply for an extension online or by contacting HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Likewise, you might still get Child Benefit if your child takes a break in their education or training, for example, if they change college.
The Child Benefit office must be made aware of the break.
How do you lose child benefit?
When your income reaches £50,000, your child benefit begins to be gradually reduced until it is completely eliminated at £60,000.
This implies that, for every additional £100 you make, you lose one per cent of your child benefit.
Only one partner's salary is taken into consideration which is why, if both parents make £50,000 each, they are still eligible for the full amount of child benefit. However, if one parent earns £60,000 and the other is unemployed (or a single parent), they are not.