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How to claim Child Benefit
The only way to claim Child Benefit is to fill in a Child Benefit claim form. You need to send the claim form to the Child Benefit Office along with your child's birth or adoption certificate. You can't claim over the phone or the internet.
Where to get the claim form
There are a couple of ways of getting a claim form. You can:
- get one from the 'Bounty Pack' that's given to new mothers in hospital
- fill in a Child Benefit claim form on screen and print it out - you'll still need to send it to the Child Benefit Office
You can also print out a blank Child Benefit claim form in Welsh, if that’s your preferred language, and fill it in by hand.
If you have any problems completing the form on screen, you can call the Child Benefit Helpline.
You can also get the claim form from the Child Benefit Helpline if you have problems getting hold of one.
Before you complete the claim form, please read the accompanying notes that will help you fill it in.
When to claim Child Benefit
Your Child Benefit can only be backdated for up to three months from the date the Child Benefit Office receives your claim. So it's best to make your claim straight away to avoid losing money.
You should claim Child Benefit as soon as:
- your child is born
- a child you're responsible for comes to live with you
- you adopt a child who's living with you
- you start paying towards the cost of looking after your child unless they live with someone else who's already getting Child Benefit
If your child has died and you want to claim for them, you should do so within three months of the date your child died.
Who can claim?
Anyone who's bringing up a child can claim. This is usually the mother, but it doesn’t have to be.
Paperwork you'll need
You'll need one of the following certificates for your child when you claim:
- a birth certificate
- a birth certificate you get after adoption
- an adoption certificate
This must be the original and not a copy. The Child Benefit Office will send it back to you when they have finished with it.
If you haven't got the certificate, send the Child Benefit Office your claim form anyway. They'll ask you to send the certificate later.
You don't need to send the certificates for any of your children that you (or someone else) have had Child Benefit for in the past.
Where to send your claim form
Once you've completed your claim form, send it along with the certificate, to:
Child Benefit Office (Washington)
PO Box 133
More useful links
Provided by HM Revenue and Customs