Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child.
You normally qualify for Child Benefit if you’re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training) and you live in the UK.
You will usually be responsible for a child if you live with them or you’re paying at least the same amount as Child Benefit (or the equivalent in kind) towards looking after them.
Contributions can include:
Child Benefit continues for 20 weeks if 16 or 17 year olds leave education or training and register with the armed services or a government-sponsored careers service.
Eligibility rules are different if your child:
Apply for Child Benefit as soon as any child you’re adopting comes to live with you - you do not have to wait until the adoption process is complete.
The nationality of the child does not affect whether you’re entitled to Child Benefit or not.
You might be able to get Child Benefit for a period before the adoption, contact the Child Benefit Office to find out.
If you foster a child, you’ll get Child Benefit if the local council is not paying anything towards the child’s accommodation or maintenance.
Looking after someone else’s child
You may be able to get Child Benefit if you’ve got an informal arrangement to look after a friend or relative’s child or if you can evidence through a court order that you have parental responsibility.
You might not qualify if your local council is paying towards the child’s accommodation or maintenance, contact the Child Benefit Office to find out.
Two people cannot get Child Benefit for the same child, if you want to make a claim, you must agree it with the person who’s currently claiming. HMRC will decide who receives the Child Benefit if you cannot agree.
You may be able to get Child Benefit if you go to live in certain countries or if you’re a Crown servant.
If you’ve moved to the UK
You may be able to get Child Benefit if your main home is in the UK and you have permission to live in the UK.