Child benefit

Updated on 24 May 2021

Tax credits and benefits

This page looks at how to claim child benefits and links to our further guidance on how the high income child benefit charge (HICBC) works.

Illustration of a man, woman and child with a pile of coins

What is child benefit?

Child benefit is a non-means-tested benefit payable for each child. You can get child benefit no matter what your income, but see below for the high income child benefit charge if your income is over a certain level.

There are two separate amounts, with a higher amount for your eldest (or only) child. From 6 April 2021, you get £21.15 a week for your eldest child and £14.00 a week for each of your other children.

Who can claim child benefit?

If you are responsible for a child or qualifying young person, you can normally claim child benefit. The rules can be complex around who has responsibility for a child. You can find out more on GOV.UK.

Is child benefit taxable, and is it treated as income for tax credits or universal credit?

See our state benefits page for this information.

What is the high income child benefit charge (HICBC)?

You may be liable to a tax charge if you have, or your partner has, an adjusted net income of more than £50,000 and one of you gets child benefit. The charge could also apply to you (or your partner) if you receive contributions towards the upkeep of a child you live with from another person who:

  • does not live with the child; but
  • receives child benefit in respect of that child; and
  • neither they (nor their partner) are liable to the charge themselves.

For more information, see our page on the high income child benefit charge.

More information

GOV.UK publishes more information on claiming child benefit.

Citizens Advice also provide information on child benefit, including how to appeal against a child benefit decision you disagree with.

Tax guides

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