Parents of 16-year-olds who are continuing into full-time education are being urged to act to continue receiving Child Benefit payments for the next year.
Child Benefit automatically stops on August 31 after children reach 16, but it can still be claimed for children who are continuing their education or training.
This means parents have just one week left to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that their 16-year-old is continuing with their studies or they’ll lose the payment.
Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “Child Benefit can provide financial support to families, so make sure you don’t miss out if your teenager is still eligible. 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.”
Parents should have received a letter to warn them that Child Benefit is stopping for their 16 years old.
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But in the busyness of holidays, juggling childcare and waiting for GCSE results, Alice Guy, head of pensions and savings at interactive investor said: “It’s easy to let sorting out the paperwork slip off the to-do list.”
However, Ms Guy warned: “But not sorting out the paperwork could be an expensive mistake.”
The letter includes a QR code that directs people to GOV.UK to update their claim online. Any changes will be applied to their Child Benefit claim immediately.
Child benefit is currently worth £1,248 each year for the first child and £826 for additional children, which can come as a huge help to parents with the rising cost of looking after teenagers.
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The benefit can continue to be paid for children who are studying full-time, which can include:
- A levels or similar
- International Baccalaureate
- Home education – if it started before their child turned 16 or after 16 if they have special needs
- T levels
- NVQs, up to level three
- Traineeships in England.
Child Benefit can 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: PEACE IV Children and Young People 2.1, Training for Success or Skills for Life and Work.
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Ms Guy continued: “Although parents earning between £50,000 to £60,000 will start to lose their Child Benefit, it can still be worth claiming.
“Your pension contributions reduce your contributions as far as the taxman is concerned, so you may be entitled to keep at least some of your Child Benefit.”
Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, commented: “Child Benefit can provide financial support to families, so make sure you don’t miss out if your teenager is still eligible.
“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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