Child Benefit changes: what the rate rise means for families in Northern Ireland

Thousands of families across Northern Ireland who claim Child Benefit are to receive increased payments from April 6.
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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed the increased payments will be sent automatically.

Families with one child will now receive up to £1,331 a year – an annual increase of £83.20, and up to £881 a year per additional child – an annual increase of £54.60.

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There is no limit to how many children families can claim for.

Changes are on the way for Child Benefit recipients. Picture:  Ioann-Mark Kuznietsov on UnsplashChanges are on the way for Child Benefit recipients. Picture:  Ioann-Mark Kuznietsov on Unsplash
Changes are on the way for Child Benefit recipients. Picture: Ioann-Mark Kuznietsov on Unsplash

Parents will receive £102.40 every four weeks (£25.60 per week) for the first or only child and £67.80 every four weeks (£16.95 per week) for each additional child.

Families with ongoing claims do not need to contact HMRC, as the increased benefit payment will continue to be paid directly into their bank accounts.

Anyone who needs to update their personal details, such as a change of bank account or address, can do so using the HMRC app or online at GOV.UK.

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HMRC said parents with a newborn baby are encouraged to make a claim online as soon as possible and could receive their first payment in as little as three days. Child Benefit claims can be backdated by a maximum of three months.

Parents yet to claim Child Benefit are being reminded that it is quick and easy to claim on GOV.UK or via the HMRC app, which can be used to apply online, backdate claims for up to three months, add a new baby to a claim, tell HMRC about a change in circumstances, update details such as a change of address or bank details, view or print proof of entitlement to Child Benefit.

From April 6, families where the highest earner has a salary of up to £60,000 a year will not be subject to the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC).

Previously, a person who had an annual income of £50,000 or more would be liable to pay the charge if they or their partner were receiving Child Benefit.

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For those earning between £60,000 and £80,000, the amount of Child Benefit they are entitled to receive reduces as income increases within this range. If an individual’s income exceeds £80,000 the HICBC will be equal to the Child Benefit payment. Parents who make a claim and then choose to opt-out of receiving Child Benefit payments can still receive National Insurance credits if one parent is not working.

Parents with an income above £50,000, who reinstate their Child Benefit before April 6, 2024, may be subject to HICBC charges if they choose to start payments in the 2023 to 2024 tax year. For new claimants who claim Child Benefit on or after April 6, any HICBC liability will be based on the new 2024 to 2025 threshold of £60,000 to £80,000.