Millions warned benefit payments could stop at the end of this month, here's what you need to know

The end of this month marks the last 2023 deadline for households with children turning 16.

Child Benedit stop deadline child over 16
© Toa Heftiba / UNSPLASH
Child Benedit stop deadline child over 16

Millions of families have been warned that the end of this month could see a cut-off for people receiving Child Benefit payments. This concerns people who have been receiving payments for a child who is now over 16. The deciding factor between the financial support continuing or not depends on what the child is now going to do.

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Children who remain in education or training will continue to be eligible for the support, while those who do not will no longer qualify. However, the payments won’t continue automatically. Here’s how to confirm to HMRC that your child will continue in education or training, and when the deadline falls.

How to confirm your child’s eligibility

These payments are made to people who are responsible for bringing up a young person aged below 16 or, if they are still in full-time education or training, under 20. For the 2023-2024 financial year, Child Benefit payments total £24 a week for the eldest or only child, and £15.90 a week for additional children. So, for any household who has a child that has just turned 16, the payments may decrease by £96 a month.

GOV.UK specifies that the support continues if the child stays ‘in approved education or training, but you must tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)’. You should receive a letter during your child’s last year at school to confirm their future plans.

What counts as approved education or training?

Your child must be in full-time education: ‘more than an average of 12 hours a week supervised study or course-related work experience’. Your child must be accepted into the course before they turn 19.

Approved training, according to the guidelines, should be unpaid and can include:

  • ‘in Wales: Foundation Apprenticeships, Traineeships or the Jobs Growth Wales+ scheme
  • in Scotland: the No One Left Behind programme
  • in Northern Ireland: PEACE IV Children and Young People 2.1, Training for Success or Skills for Life and Work’

You can let HMRC know that your child will be continuing with either of these options, and will therefore be eligible for Child Benefit, on GOV.UK’s website.

When is the deadline?

There are several deadlines throughout the year. If your child decides to leave education and will not be undergoing training, then the Child Benefit payments will stop until whichever of the following dates comes first after their 16th birthday:

  • the last day in February
  • May 31
  • August 31
  • November 30

So, the last deadline is fast approaching, and could see millions of families lose money if they don’t update their child’s details. If you fail to update in time, HMRC says you may still be able to claim the support but payments may be late.

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Sources used:

Daily Record: Child Benefit payments due to end for some parents and guardians at start of next month

Birmingham Mail: Millions of families warned Child Benefit payments could stop at end of November

GOV.UK: Child Benefit when your child turns 16

Thousands of UK homes to be sent £270 by the end of the month, see if you’ll get the cash Thousands of UK homes to be sent £270 by the end of the month, see if you’ll get the cash