Child Benefit and the High Income Charge

11 July 2023

If you have children, financial support’s available to you through Child Benefits and tax credits. In this blog we’ll explore how Child Benefit works, who’s eligible to receive it, and what the Child Benefit thresholds are.


Any payments you receive aren’t based on how much you earn, but instead how many children you’re responsible for. In the UK, only one person can receive Child Benefit for a child.

As stated on, may be eligible to receive Child Benefit if:

  • You’re responsible for a child/children under 16 years of age (or under 20 if they remain in approved education or training) or;
  • You’re paying at least the same amount as Child Benefit towards looking after them, e.g. food, clothes, and/or pocket money;
  • You foster a child (as long as the local council’s not paying anything towards their accommodation);
  • You adopt a child;
  • You’re looking after someone else’s child (you may also be entitled to Guardian’s Allowance if you’re responsible for a child who’s lost one, or both, of their parents)


There are currently two Child Benefit rates and the payment’s made every 4 weeks on a Monday or Tuesday. If you’re a single parent, or receiving other benefits such as Universal Credit, you can have the payment made weekly.

Who the allowance is for Weekly rate Annual Child Benefit
Eldest or only child £24.00 £1,248.00
Additional children £15.90 per child

Whilst Child Benefit’s not means-tested, if you or your partner have an individual income that’s over £50,000, you may have to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge. This threshold’s based on the individual income of the highest earner, and the tax charge should be paid by whoever earns the high salary via a self-assessment tax return.


If you’re claiming Child Benefit and your child’s under 12, you’ll receive National Insurance (NI) credits automatically.

These credits count towards your State Pension.

This ensures you don’t have any gaps in your NI record if you’re not working or you don’t earn enough to pay NI contributions.


You’ll be able to claim Child Benefit just 48 hours after you’ve registered the birth of your child, or once a child comes to live with you. It can be backdated for up to 3 months.

As only one person can receive Child Benefit for a child, you’ll need to specify whether it’s you or the other parent/guardian claiming. The specified claimant will receive NI credits towards their State Pension if they’re not working, or earn less than £242 per week.

You can make a claim for Child Benefit using’s online service here. Before you start, you can use this tool to get an estimate of how much money you may receive from Child Benefit in a tax year, and the High Income Child Benefit tax charge you or your partner may need to pay.

With the High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge prompting thousands to foot a higher tax bill since its threshold change in 2013, our Personal Tax team’s here to offer guidance on this. It can make sense to still claim for Child Benefit, even if you’re earning over £50,000.


An important note: Content correct at time of publishing.