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Child Benefit: Children in Hospital Care

Benefits change if a child goes into care for more than eight (8) weeks or in hospital. You should inform the Child Benefit Office to protect your benefit payments.

CHILDREN IN HOSPITAL: If your child goes into care (or residential care for more than 12 weeks) it can affect your benefit payments. If any of these happen you should inform the Child Benefit Office by phone, online, or by post.

Child in Residential Care

Accommodation paid for by your local council is also termed as ‘residential care’. Note that residential care is not the same as standard care.

Your child may get placed in residential care if he or she has a mental or physical disability. If the child spends less than one year abroad then the hospital can also be overseas.

Breaks in Hospital Care

Going back into hospital or residential care within 28 days of leaving it means the total time your child spent away from home will count towards the twelve (12) week limit (84 days).

8 or 12 Week Limit and Exceptions

Typically your Child Benefit will stop after the eight or twelve week time limit. The exceptions to this rule include:

  • Children in care (providing they spend a minimum of 24 hours a week at home).
  • Children in residential care or UK hospital (if you regularly spend money on them).
  • Children in hospital abroad (if you are back in the UK and regularly spending money on them).

Money from your partner will only count if you are married or civil partnered and living together. You may be able to claim Child Benefit again if the child is in care but spends 2 nights in a row each week or 7 days or more in a row at home. You can check if any of these exceptions apply to you by contacting your Child Benefit Office.

What Should You Do Next?

Inform the Child Benefit Office if your child:

  • Goes into care.
  • Is expected to go into hospital or residential care for more than 12 weeks.

By Phone

Telephone:0300 200 3100
Textphone:0300 200 3103
Outside UK: +44 161 210 3086
Check UK phone call charges.

By Post

HM Revenue and Customs Child Benefit Office
PO Box 1
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE88 1AA
United Kingdom

Child Benefit for Children in Hospital Care or Residential Care