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Can you extend Child Benefit for your 16-19-year-old?

Can you extend Child Benefit for your 16-19-year-old?
Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

If your teen continues education or training after their GCSEs, you could receive hundreds of pounds extra per year by extending your Child Benefit claim.

HMRC is gearing up to send more than 1.4 million Child Benefit reconfirmation letters to parents between 24 May and 17 July. But don’t worry if you don’t receive one, as you have until 31 August to extend your claim.

These HMRC letters remind parents that they can extend Child Benefit for their teenagers (16-19 years of age) if they continue education or training after taking their GCSEs.

The letters will include a QR code that, when scanned, directs parents straight to GOV.UK, so that they can update their claim quickly and easily online.

Alternatively, you can do this via the HMRC app, or you can use the Child Benefit online service on GOV.UK. Here, you’ll need a Government Gateway user ID and password, or register on GOV.UK by giving your National Insurance number or postcode, and two forms of ID.

Child Benefit is worth up to £1,331 per year for the first or only child, and up to £881 per year for each additional child.

Payments automatically stop on 31 August or after the child turns 16, unless parents renew their claim where their child is continuing in approved education or training.

What counts as approved education or training?

HMRC said Child Benefit can continue to be paid for children who are studying full-time in approved non-advanced education, which includes:

  • A levels or Scottish Highers
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Home education – if it started before their child turned 16, or after 16 if they have a statement of special educational needs and it was assessed by the local authority
  • T levels
  • NVQs, up to level 3


Child Benefit will also continue for children studying on one of these unpaid approved training courses:

  • In Wales: Foundation Apprenticeships, Traineeships or the Jobs Growth Wales+ scheme
  • In Northern Ireland: PEACEPLUS Youth Programme 3.2, Training for Success or Skills for Life and Work
  • In Scotland: Employability Fund programme and No One Left Behind


If your child changes their mind about further education or training, parents can inform HMRC online or in the HMRC app, where payments will be adjusted accordingly.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “Child Benefit is an important financial support for many families, so make sure you don’t miss out on any payments if your teenager intends to continue approved education or training. You can quickly and easily extend your claim online or via the HMRC app, just search ‘Child Benefit when your child turns 16’ on GOV.UK.”

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