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Report Changes to Child Benefit

Family changes affect Child Benefit payments. Find out when and how you must report a change in your personal circumstances.

CHANGES AFFECTING CHILD BENEFIT: You could lose out on some of your entitlements if:

  • You forget to tell the Child Benefit Office about circumstantial changes.
  • You ‘deliberately’ avoid informing them about changes to your family life.

Note: Failing to report the changes could result in an overpayment. You will need to repay a Child Benefit overpayment to their Debt Management services.

Report a Change in Child Circumstances

As a rule, all Child Benefit stops on the 31st of August on, or immediately after, the day a child celebrates their 16th birthday. An exception may apply if they stay in approved education or training.

You must notify the Child Benefit Office if your child chooses to stay in education or training. They will also need to know if at any time they leave that education or training.

Even so, you must report any of these changes in child circumstances to the Child Benefit Office and without delay if your child:

  • Begins paid work for 24 hours a week or more.
  • Will live away from you for either 8 weeks in a row or more than 56 days in a 16-week period.
  • Will go abroad permanently, for more than 12 weeks, or moves to or from Northern Ireland.
  • Goes to prison for more than 8 weeks, will be in hospital or residential care for more than 12 weeks, or your child dies.
  • Goes missing, changes their name, gets married, formulates a civil partnership, or starts to live with a partner.
  • Starts getting certain benefits (examples include: Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, tax credits or Employment, Universal Credit, Incapacity Benefit, and Support Allowance).

Report a Change in Family Circumstances

A difference in family circumstances also means you must notify the Child Benefit Office straight away for any of these changes:

  • Your bank account, name or address changes.
  • Your immigration status changes or you lose the right to reside in the United Kingdom.
  • You have a baby, a child comes to live with you, or the child’s parent has died.
  • You intend to go abroad for more than 8 weeks.
  • You or your partner intend to move abroad permanently or for more than a year.
  • You move to or from Northern Ireland.
  • Payments or contributions for a child who does not live with you stop or change.
  • You get paid to look after a child by a local council or similar.
  • You get a prison sentence of more than 8 weeks.
  • A relationship ends, or you start a new relationship (e.g. you move in with a new partner or remarry).

Note: Family changes can also affect tax credits and certain benefits. You must notify the Child Benefit Office of any changes and the date of the change.

Child Benefit Tax Charge

There is another reason to report changes to Child Benefit claims. It can increase the likelihood of paying the High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge. Your income (or your partner’s earnings) may affect the charge if it goes over the threshold of £50,000.

Note: You must report circumstantial changes even if you choose to stop receiving Child Benefit.

How to Report Changes to Child Benefit in the United Kingdom