A Working Mum
Depending on your circumstances there are numerous areas in which parents may receive extra financial help with bringing up their children.
The first one that everyone qualifies for is child benefit. Child benefit is a tax-free 4-weekly payment that you can claim for your child. It is usually paid every four weeks but can sometimes be paid weekly. There are separate rates payable for each child.
If you're responsible for a child, you can normally get child benefit for them - even if you're not their parent.
You can apply for child benefit at any time but as it can only be backdated for three months from the date that the Child Benefit office receives your claim form.
You should claim child benefit as soon as
- your child is born
- a child that you're responsible for comes to live with you
- you adopt a child who's living with you
- you start paying towards the cost of looking after your child unless they live with someone else who's already claiming child benefit for them.
You can claim even if your child doesn't live with you, as long as:
- you pay towards their upkeep
- what you pay is at least the same as the amount of child benefit
- the person your child lives with is not getting child benefit for them
If you and another person both claim child benefit for the same child, only one of you can get it.
Child benefit payments usually stops when your child reaches 16, unless they are in education or training that counts for Child Benefit. You can't claim child benefit for your child once they reach the age of 20.
How much benefit you'll receive varies with each child. For your first child you'll receive £20.30 per week reducing to £13.40 for any subsequent children.
Changes to child benefit announced in budget of 21/3/2012
Child benefit will be reduced incrementally when someone in a household has an income of more than £50,000. It will fall by 1% for every £100 earned over £50,000. Anyone earning more than £60,000 will lose the benefit completely.