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Parents can claim child benefit without registering newborns

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Parents of newborn babies can still claim child benefit even if they haven’t been able to register their child’s birth because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Under normal circumstances, parents need a birth or adoption certificate to claim child benefit.

However, with General Register Offices closed, HMRC has confirmed parents can still apply without registering their child’s birth.

First time parents need to fill in Child Benefit Claim form online and send it to the Child Benefit Office, adding a note that they haven’t registered the birth because of Covid-19.

Parents who already claim child benefit can complete the form or add their newborn’s details over the phone on 0300 200 3100. They will need their National Insurance number or Child Benefit number.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman, said: “We need people to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. Today’s change means new parents won’t miss out financially and can keep their families safe.”

Parents who have suffered a loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic have been urged to consider claiming child benefit even if they didn’t previously.

Child benefit claims can be backdated by up to three months.

What is child benefit?

Child benefit is a monthly payment made to anyone responsible for bringing up a child under 16 (or 20 if they stay in approved education or training).

Only one person or parent can claim the benefit for a child.

Claiming child benefit means you earn national insurance credits which count towards your state pension later in life. So, if one parent is not working or is a low earner, they should claim the benefit to get national insurance credits they normally would not receive.

If you or your partner earn over £50,000, you have to pay back some of your child benefit in tax via a self-assessment form. This is done on a sliding scale so that if either of you earn over £60,000, you essentially get no benefit as you have to pay back the full amount in tax.

Even in this case, it’s still worth registering for child benefit and opting out so that you qualify for your national insurance credits.

The child benefit allowance recently increased to £21.05 a week for the eldest or an only child, then £13.95 for each additional child.