Issues with HMRC software have impacted approximately half a million child benefit claimants.

HMRC, who are responsible for administering the child benefit payments, announced that the error was due to a batch processing issue which resulted in no payments being made to 30% of claimants.

Not surprisingly this did not go down too well with parents who have been advised that they can seek compensation but will need to provide supporting evidence such as receipts etc, and this will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Following the announcement in the Spring Budget 2024, changes were applied to the High-Income Child Benefit threshold, which was increased from £50,000 to £60,000, this means that parents earning below this will retain their full child benefit.

However, where one parent earns £80,000, the child benefit is completely withdrawn on a tapering basis.

The new measures applied to claims effective from April 2024, future plans propose to move to an assessment that is based on a high-income benefit charge that will be assessed in accordance with a household-based system and is set to be introduced by April 2026. This will follow further consultations on the design.

Given the announcement of a general election on July 4th, it is worth noting that this might be impacted if a change in government is announced.

The weekly rates are currently set at £25.60 for the eldest or only child and for the youngest or subsequent child the rate is set at £16.95.

Parents can claim child benefit 48 hours after they have registered the birth, or as soon as a child comes to live with them, if under an adoption arrangement.

Some of the ways that claims can be made are online or by post. If making an application the following documents are required:

  • your child's birth or adoption certificate
  • your bank or building society details
  • your National Insurance (NI) number
  • your partner's National Insurance number, if this is not available this will not prevent the claim being processed.

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