Millions of British households will be getting a child benefit boost from April.
Weekly payments will be going up in line with inflation from April 12.
The government subsidy, which is paid to help with the costs of having dependents, will go up to £21.15 a week for your first child.
People with more than one child will get £14 per week.
Child benefit is available for parents who have children up to the age of 16 – or 20 if they are in fill-time education or are on an approved training course.
The benefit is paid on a monthly basis on either a Monday or Tuesday.
The gov.uk website states that “there’s no limit to how many children you can claim for.”
The new financial year begins on April 6 and those on benefits may see their payments change.
As well as child support, the state pension will rise by 2.5% and Universal Credit 0.5% – although this could fall in practice with the £20 uplift to be scrapped.
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So, how is child benefit changing?
For an eldest or only child, households currently receive £21.05 per week plus £13.95 for any additional kids.
From April 12, this will increase to £21.15 per week and £14.00 per week for additional children.
This is an increase of 10p and 5p respectively per week and means the new monthly payments will be £84.60 for an eldest or only child and £56.00 for any additional children.
Those in receipt of the payment will also be awarded national insurance credits towards their state pension.
But, if a claimant or their partner earns more than £50,000 a year, a fraction of it must be repaid at the end of the tax year.
This is at a rate of 1% for every £100 earned over £50,000.
If over £60,000 is earned in a year, the whole amount must be repaid.
If you’re earning over the threshold, you need to complete a self-assessment at the end of each tax year. HMRC will then calculate how much you owe, and bill you for the outstanding balance. Even though the money is returned, you’ll still get a national insurance credit towards your state pension.
However, be careful when you opt out as you could risk your state pension credits.
If you earn above the threshold (£60,000), you must opt out officially to avoid losing any credits.
When you receive the form for child benefit, you have two options.
You can either take the money and pay it back as extra income tax, or you can untick a box on the application form for a “zero rate” child benefit.
This means that you’ll still be able to claim the credits without actually receiving the cash.