CHILD BENEFIT 16-19: It is a question sent to us by many parents and childcare workers. They want to know ‘does child benefit stop at 16?’
The simple answer regarding most teenagers is YES! CHB will end at 16 and it will stop on the 31st of August. That can happen either on, or soon after your child has had their 16th birthday.
Child Benefit will stop if they leave education or end their training. But, there are some exceptions to the ending date of claiming Child Benefit.
You will receive a letter during your child’s final year in school. The letter will ask you to confirm future educational plans for your child.
The payments may continue if your child stays in approved education or course-related training. But you must inform the Child Benefit Office if this is the case.
Child Benefit Approved Education
The rules for approved education state that it must be full-time. That generally means more than an average of 12 hours per week of supervised study or in a course-related work experience.
Child Benefit Approved Education courses may include:
- A levels or some higher level alternatives (e.g. Pre-U, International Baccalaureate).
- Traineeships in England.
- Home education (providing it started before your child reached 16).
- Scottish Highers.
- NVQs and selected other vocational qualifications up to level 3.
Education courses and programs are not approved if they get paid by an employer or ‘advanced’. Examples can include a university degree or BTEC Higher National Certificate.
You should inform the Child Benefit Office whether your child is staying in, or leaving, approved education. Note that your child must get accepted into the course before they turn 19 years old.
Child Benefit Approved Training
As a rule, courses that are part of a job contract are not eligible. Approved training should be unpaid and may include:
- Foundation Apprenticeships or Traineeships in Wales.
- Employability Fund programs or Get Ready for Work (if started before 1 April 2013) in Scotland.
- United Youth Pilot, Training for Success, Pathways to Success or Collaboration and Innovation Program in Northern Ireland.
You should inform the Child Benefit Office whether your child is staying in, or leaving, approved training. Note that your child must get accepted into the course before they turn 19 years old.
- Inform the Child Benefit office that your child is staying in education.
- Inform the Child Benefit office that your child has left education.
Temporary Breaks in Education or Training
You might get Child Benefit during your child’s break in education or training. You must inform the Child Benefit Office about any temporary breaks (e.g. changing college).
Child Benefit End Dates for 19 Year Olds
Benefit payments will stop at the end of February, 31st of May, 31st of August, or the 30th of November. As a rule it is whichever date comes first after your child leaves approved education or training.
Apply for 16 Year Old Benefits Extension
You may be eligible to get a ‘Child Benefit extension‘ for up to 20 weeks. But, this only applies if your child leaves approved education or training. To qualify they must then either register with a local careers service or sign up to join the armed forces.
To qualify for the 16 year old benefits extension your child must:
- Be between 16 and 18 years old.
- Be working less than 24 hours a week.
- Not receiving certain welfare benefits (e.g. Income Support).
Note: You can now apply for Child Benefit extension CH299 online at the government website.
You need to have entitlement to claim Child Benefit immediately before your child left the approved education or training. You must also apply for it within three months of them leaving. You can report your child’s career plans or changes by phone or by postal methods.
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Reporting Changes: How to inform the Child Benefit Office about changes to your circumstances.
Child Benefit Payment Dates: An up-to-date guide to check when your next payment is due.
How to Claim Child Benefit: Claiming online, the eligibility rules, and how much you will get.
Child Tax Credit: Calculate how much you could claim if you are responsible for one or more children.
School Education System: Sending your children to school and dealing with school problems.