Child Benefit if your child lives with someone else

You’ll usually get Child Benefit for 8 weeks after your child goes to live with someone else (for example a friend or relative), if nobody else claims. It can continue for longer if you make contributions to your child’s upkeep.

The Child Benefit Office will tell you if they get another claim for your child. They’ll help you decide who should claim if you can’t decide for yourself.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

Contributions to upkeep

You could continue to get payments for more than 8 weeks if you contribute to your child’s upkeep by the same amount or more than the Child Benefit payment.

Upkeep includes clothes, presents, food and pocket money and financial contributions to provide your child with somewhere to live.

You must contact the Child Benefit Office if your circumstances have changed.

You can make your contributions weekly, monthly or in a lump sum to cover a set period. If you miss one or two payments over a long period, the Child Benefit Office may treat this as if you have contributed for the whole period.

The Child Benefit Office will treat contributions for more than one child as being split equally, unless you ask them to consider something else.

Your contributions will still count if more than one person is contributing for the same child. The total contributions have to be worth at least as much as the Child Benefit you get.

Court orders and agreements

You might still get Child Benefit if you’re making payments towards your child’s maintenance under a court order or agreement.

These payments are treated as a contribution towards your child - as long as the order or agreement actually covers your child’s upkeep.

Change who gets Child Benefit

Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child. Contact the Child Benefit Office if you want someone else to claim Child Benefit.

  1. Explain you want to stop getting Child Benefit.

  2. Explain who you want to get Child Benefit instead.

  3. Tell the other person to make a new claim.

  4. If you change your mind later, you’ll need to make a new claim yourself.

High Income Child Benefit tax charge

You may have to pay a tax charge if you or your partner have an individual income over £50,000.

Use the Child Benefit tax calculator to calculate how much Child Benefit you’ve received in a tax year and find out if you’ll have to pay the charge.