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Child Benefit If You Leave the UK

This section explains how long you may still get Child Benefit if you go abroad. It might be for a short holiday or for business purposes living overseas.

GOING ABROAD? You should inform the Child Benefit Office if you go abroad for more than eight (8) weeks.

Staying Abroad for a Short Time

You might still qualify for Child Benefit if you travel outside the United Kingdom. But, in most cases it only applies to a short period such as for medical treatment or a holiday.

The reason for leaving determines how long you can still get Child Benefit payments.

  • Death of a family member: Payments continue up to 12 weeks.
  • Medical treatment for you or your family: Payments continue up to 12 weeks.
  • Any other reasons: Payments continue up to 8 weeks.

Staying Abroad for Longer

If you are a Crown servant or go to live abroad in certain countries you may still continue to get Child Benefit for longer.

European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

Child Benefit payments for children living with you may still qualify. But, you must be staying within the European Economic Area or Switzerland. You will need to pay NI in the United Kingdom (i.e. employed or self-employed) or be receiving one of these benefits:

If you and your partner live in different countries you may qualify for Child Benefit or its equivalent in both. The country the child lives in will usually pay the benefit. If the benefit is more in the other country, that country will pay you extra.

Note: You and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK beyond June 2021.

Countries with Social Security Agreement with the UK

If you are living in any of the countries with a social security agreement you may be able to get Child Benefit payments:

  • Barbados
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Canada
  • Channel Islands
  • Israel
  • Kosovo
  • Macedonia
  • Mauritius
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • Serbia

Note: The Child Benefit Office will help you make a claim. Child Benefit if you move to the UK – Find out if you and your children qualify for benefits and which overseas countries have an agreement with the UK.

Crown Servants Posted Overseas

A Crown servant working anywhere outside the United Kingdom is entitled to Child Benefit payments – even if your child does not live with you. However, you must have been either living in, or posted to the UK, before you got posted abroad.

Claiming Child Benefit Payments Abroad of the United Kingdom