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Child benefit: Rishi Sunak urged to increase payments in light of Universal Credit changes

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Child benefit can be awarded to those who are responsible for a child who is under 16 or under 20 if they’re in approved education or training. So long as a claimant is eligible, they’ll get £21.05 per week for an eldest or only child.

As the meeting rolled on, the attendees discussed what support they’d like to see offered from Rishi Sunak and most called for the Universal Credit uplift to be extended, which the Chancellor ended up doing.

However, Dr Kitty Stewart, an Associate Professor of Social Policy and Associate Director, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics and Political Science, noted child benefit should also be targeted for support.

In discussing how families would be affected should the £20 uplift not be kept in place, Dr Stewart had the following to say: “We also need to remember that the Universal Credit uplift is the same amount—£20 per household.

“It goes less far for a family with two, three or four children, than for a family without children.

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“What we have not seen at all over the last year is a focus on child poverty and on what families with children need, so an increase in child benefit or in the child element of universal credit would be really helpful, as well as the £20 uplift.”

While Rishi Sunak did extend support for Universal Credit and working tax credits, he did not mention child benefit in his 2021 Budget.

Child benefit is paid every four weeks and there is no limit on how many children can be claimed for.

However, child benefit claimants may be limited by the benefit cap, which limits how much income a person can receive from state benefits.

To make a claim for the first time, the CH2 form will need to be completed and sent to the Child Benefit Office.

Children can also be added to an existing claim if:

  • The is under six months old and lives with the claimant
  • The child was born in the UK and their birth was registered in England, Scotland or Wales more than 24 hours previously
  • The claimant is a UK, EEA or Swiss national and they’ve lived in the UK since the start of their claim

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