What happens to my Child Benefit if my child is 16 or over?

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Your Child Benefit can carry on after your child reaches 16, if they’re staying in full-time, ‘non-advanced’ education at school or college, or starting an ‘approved’ training course. Find out what this means, when your payments will stop, and when you can get a Child Benefit extension if your child is under 18.

What happens before your child turns 16

The Child Benefit Office willwrite to youduring your child’s last school year, to ask you what your child’s plans are. They’ll contact you between January and June – or if you live in Scotland, either mid-June or mid-November. You don’t need to reply to the letter until you know whether your child is staying on in education or training.

You can give the Child Benefit Office the information they ask for in one of the following ways:

Child stays in education or training

You can carry on getting Child Benefit for your child up until their 20th birthday, if they’re in education or training that counts for Child Benefit. Education or training counts for Child Benefit as long as it’s either of the following:

  • full-time, ‘non-advanced’ education (for example ‘A’ levels)
  • ‘approved’ training

Your child needs to have started, enrolled or been accepted for one of these types of courses before the age of 19.

You can’t get Child Benefit if your child is doing:

  • higher education, such as a course at university level
  • education provided by an employer
  • education provided through any office they hold – for example if your child has an official role such as scout leader or councillor, and the education is provided as part of that role
  • training that is part of a job contract
  • Find out what types of education or training count for Child Benefit

Child leaves education or training – and is under 18

If your child is under 18 and doesnt intend to stay on in education or training that counts for Child Benefit, your payments will normally carry on for a while.

Your child leaves education or training in the year they turn 16

If your child leaves the year they turn 16, your payments will normally carry on from the time they leave until 31 August following their 16th birthday. If your child turns 16 on 31 August, your payments will stop then.

Your child leaves education or training after 31 August following their 16th birthday

If your child leaves after 31 August following their 16th birthday, your payments will normally stop on a different date. Your payments will normally carry on from the time they leave until the week that includes the earliest of these dates:

  • the last day of February
  • 31 May
  • 31 August
  • 30 November

But if one of the following happens, your payments will stop straightaway:

  • your child starts paid work for 24 hours a week or more
  • your child starts getting certain benefits, such as Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance, or tax credits in their own right

You will need to report any of these changes to the Child Benefit Office.

It’s worth knowing that your Child Benefit can often be extended for up to a further 20 weeks. For this to happen your child must:

  • be 16 or 17 years old
  • have left education or training that counts for Child Benefit
  • have registered for work, education or training with a ‘qualifying body’

The extension starts on the date your child left education or training that counted for Child Benefit. There are other conditions that you have to meet to get the extension – follow the link below to find out more.

Child leaves education or training – and is 18 or over

Your payments will normally carry on from the date your child leaves education or training that counts for Child Benefit, until the week that includes the earliest of these dates:

  • the last day of February
  • 31 May
  • 31 August
  • 30 November

But if one of the following happens, your payments will stop straightaway:

  • your child starts paid work for 24 hours a week or more
  • your child gets certain benefits, such as Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance, or tax credits in their own right
  • your child reaches the age of 20

You will need to report any of these changes to the Child Benefit Office.

Child goes back to school or college to take exams

You can normally still get Child Benefit after your child leaves school or college if they were entered for exams before they left. The exams must be for the course they were doing before they left – and the course must have counted for Child Benefit.

Once your child has finished their last exam, your Child Benefit will normally carry on from the date of the last exam until the week that includes the earliest of:

  • last day of February
  • 31 May
  • 31 August
  • 30 November

Your Child Benefit will stop straightaway if any of the following happen after your child has left school or college:

  • your child starts paid work for 24 hours a week or more
  • your child gets certain benefits, such as Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance, or tax credits in their own right
  • your child reaches the age of 20

You will need to report any of these changes to the Child Benefit Office.

Child changes their mind about staying in education or training

Your child may have wanted to continue with education or training that counts for Child Benefit but then changed their mind. For example, their exam results may mean they can’t do the course they wanted.

You must tell the Child Benefit Office if your child has changed their mind. They’ll treat the date your child changed their mind as the date they stopped the education or training they were going to do. The Child Benefit Office will usually carry on paying Child Benefit up to the earliest of the dates shown in the section ‘If your child goes back to school or college to take exams’, above.

If your child is under 18, you may also be able to get your Child Benefit extended for up to 20 weeks.

Child starts work

You must tell the Child Benefit Office if your child starts paid work for 24 hours a week or more after the age of 16. Your payments will normally stop from the Monday after your child starts work.

But if your child also stays in education or training that counts for Child Benefit, your payments may continue. It doesn’t matter how many hours they work. Your child will need to have started, enrolled or been accepted for a course that counts for Child Benefit before the age of 19.

Child starts getting benefits in their own right

You can’t get Child Benefit for your child if they get:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • tax credits
  • Employment and Support Allowance

You must tell the Child Benefit Office if your child gets any of these benefits. This is different to the benefits you get. Your Child Benefit will stop according to the day of the week your child started to get their benefits. For example, if your child’s benefits started:

  • on a Monday, your payments will stop from that same Monday
  • on any other day of the week, your payments will stop on the following Monday

Benefits your child might be getting that won’t affect your payments are:

  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Training or Educational Maintenance Allowance

Child gets married or lives with a partner

You must tell the Child Benefit Office if your child gets married or starts to live with a partner. You can usually carry on getting Child Benefit if both your child and their partner are in education or training that counts for Child Benefit.

Source: findlaw.co.uk

Category: Credit

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