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Claiming Child Benefit after a Death

This section explains how to make a death report and a claim if a child or parent/s (claimant) dies. Check how to make a new claim for any arrears owing.

CHILD OR PARENT DIES: The death of a child or any of the parents will affect claims for Child Benefit.

If a Child Dies

As a rule, your Child Benefit should continue for eight (8) weeks after the death of a child.

But, Child Benefit may stop on the Monday following the date of what would have been their 20th birthday. This would apply if their birth date occurs before the end of the eight week period.

What If You Already Claimed?

You need to inform the Child Benefit Office about the change in circumstances without delay. This also applies if you have already claimed benefit for a child who has since died.

You should include the date of the death when you contact them online, by mail, or by phone. You only need to contact HMRC once. When you contact the Child Benefit Office they will inform other departments of HM Revenue and Customs.

Not Yet Claimed?

You can send a claim form even if the child died before you sent it (unless the child got registered as stillborn).

If One or Both Parents Die

If one – or both – parent dies, you may get entitlement to Child Benefit if you are considered to be the main carer for the child or children.

Making a Claim

When you make a claim for Child Benefit be sure to include the following information:

  • A note verifying the date of the child’s death.
  • Your contact details and National Insurance (NI) number.
  • The child’s birth or adoption certificate (the death certificate is not required).

Note: You can request a new birth or adoption certificate and send it in later if you do not have it immediately available.

The eight week period will start from the Monday following the death if your child died before the end of the week in which they were born. Child Benefit can get backdated but for up to 3 months only.

Thus, the longer you leave it to make a claim, the less benefit payment you will receive. You must still inform the Child Benefit Office about a child that would have qualified even if you opted out of claiming.

Note: The High Income Child Benefit tax charge is not liable on any Child Benefit received after a child dies.

Reporting the Death

You should report the death without delay to the Child Benefit Office. If you report the death online you will need to include the exact date of death, where the child is living, and who is taking care of them. The Child Benefit Office will then:

  • Cancel the benefit payments.
  • Confirm this in writing within twenty (20) days.

Making a Claim

The child’s benefits will not transfer directly to the new carer by automatic process. Thus, you will need to make a fresh claim for Child Benefit if you are not the person named as the claimant on the original claim form.

Note: Child Benefit stops following the report and from the Monday following the death. It may get backdated for up to 3 months as a maximum.

Bank Account Payments

You should use the claim form to confirm which bank account you prefer the money paid into. If the money was paid into the account of the deceased, you should choose a different account if you are the person who will be receiving the Child Benefit.

Extra Allowances

On top of any Child Benefit you may also be eligible for either the Guardian’s Allowance or the Widowed Parent’s Allowance.

Note: There is no requirement to pay the High Income Child Benefit tax charge on any payments you receive after the death of a child.

How to Claim Child Benefit if a Child or Parent Dies