What age do child benefits stop? Here’s how you could still be entitled to tax credits


BRIT parents and guardians across the country are entitled to child benefit payments to help them with childcare costs.

And some may get child tax credits too. But when do child benefit payments stop?

 Child benefit payments stop on August 31 after the child you are responsible for turns 16-years-old

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Child benefit payments stop on August 31 after the child you are responsible for turns 16-years-oldCredit: Alamy

What age does child benefit stop?

Child benefit payments stop on 31 August, on or after your child’s 16th birthday.

At this age, your teen will get their own registered National Insurance Number.

But you are still entitled to cash after they turn 16 – if they choose to stay in “approved” education or training.

Once your child has reached their final year of secondary school, the Child Benefit Office will send you a letter.

They will ask you to confirm what their post-school plans are – you need to let them know either way.

But to make the process quicker, you can get in touch with the Child Benefit Office and tell them about your youngster’s plans as soon as you become aware.

If they stay on in approved education or training between the ages of 16 and 19, payments will stop when they leave that, either at the end of February, 31 May, 31 August or 30 November, whichever comes first.

You may get an extension for 20 weeks if they are 16 or 17 and leave to go on to register with their local career service or join the armed forces.

They must not get certain benefits or work more than 24 hours a week to qualify for this extension.

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You must also tell the Child Benefit Office if they take any breaks from education or training after 16.

What about child tax credits?

Child tax credits were for parents and guardians on a low income.

It’s been replaced by Universal Credit for new claimants but those already claiming can continue to do so.

The tax credit will not affect the child benefit you receive.

Child tax credit usually stops on 31 August after your child turns 16, unless they continue in approved education or training.

You may get an extension for 20 weeks if they are 16 or 17 and leave to go on to register with their local career service or join the armed forces.

They must not get certain benefits or work more than 24 hours a week to qualify for this extension.

You must also tell the Child Benefit Office if they take any breaks from education or training after 16.

What education or training qualifications are approved?

To keep receiving the weekly payments, your child must be in “full-time” post-education or training approved by the Child Benefit Office.

Those qualifications are:

  • A Levels or similar, for example Pre-U, International Baccalaureate
  • T Levels
  • Scottish Highers
  • NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level 3
  • home education – if started before your child turned 16 or after 16 if they have special needs
  • Traineeships in England

The courses must amount to more than an average of 12 hours a week of supervised study, or be a course-related work experience placement.

They must be accepted on the course before they turn 19.

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But if they’re paid for by an employer, or considered to be “advanced” like university degrees or BTEC Higher National Certificates, they will not be approved.

Approved training can include:

  • A foundation apprenticeship or traineeship in Wales
  • Employability fund programmes in Scotland
  • United Youth Pilot (if started before 1 June 2017, Peace IV children and young people 2.1, training for success in Northern Ireland

Courses that are part of a job contract do not count.

 

 





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