Millions of households will get a child benefit boost from April, when weekly payments rise in line with inflation.
The monthly subsidy, designed to help with the costs associated with a dependent, is rising to £21.15 for the first child. Those with more than one child will receive £14 per week from April 12.
Child Benefit is available to families with dependents up to the age of 16 – or 20 if they are still in full-time education or on a government-approved training course.
The benefit is paid monthly, either on a Monday or a Tuesday, and there is no limit to how many children a parent or guardian can claim for. The new financial year starts on April 6 and brings with it a whole host of payment changes for those receiving benefits.
As well as child support, the state pension will rise by 2.5% and Universal Credit 0.5% – although this could theoretically fall with the £20 uplift to be scrapped.
How is child benefit changing? The new financial year starts in April and brings with it a whole host of payment changes for those receiving benefits For an eldest or only child, recipients currently receive £21.05 per week and £13.95 per week for any additional children.
From April 12, this will increase to £21.15 per week and £14.00 per week for any additional children.
This is an increase of 10p and 5p respectively per week and means the new monthly payments will be £84.60 for an eldest or only child and £56.00 for any additional children.
There is no limit on how many children can be claimed for, but only one adult in a household can receive child benefit.
The payment comes through every four weeks on a Monday or a Tuesday and the claimant will also be awarded national insurance credits which count towards their state pension.
However, if a claimant or their partner earns more than £50,000 a year, a fraction of it must be repaid at the end of the tax year.
This is at a rate of 1% for every £100 earned over £50,000. If over £60,000 is earned in a year, the whole amount must be repaid. High Income Child Benefit Charges explained In 2013, former chancellor George Osborne introduced new rules to child benefits.
He scrapped the initiative for anyone earning £60,000 a year or more and reduced the payout for anyone earning between £50,000 and £60,000. However, critics say the cap penalises households where one parent earns the most money.
This is because it is based on the highest earner’s salary rather than the family income.
For example, a family where one parent earns £50,000 and the other earns nothing would be immediately subject to the tax.
But if both parents earned £25,000 each, they wouldn’t have to pay child benefit back, even though the household income is the same as where one parent is working.
Get the latest money advice, news and help straight to your inbox – sign up at mirror.co.uk/email Even more confusingly, a family where both parents earn £49,999 would get full child benefit, even though the family income is almost £100,000.
If you’re earning over the threshold, you need to complete a self-assessment at the end of each tax year. HMRC will then calculate how much you owe, and bill you for the outstanding balance.
Even though the money is returned, you’ll still get a national insurance credit towards your state pension.
Workers who opt out entirely risk losing out on state pension credits. If you earn above the threshold (£60,000), you must opt out via HMRC to avoid losing any credits.
When you receive the form for child benefit, you have two options.
You can either take the money and pay it back as extra income tax, or you can untick a box on the application form for a “zero rate” child benefit. This means that you’ll still be able to claim the credits without actually receiving the cash.
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