Parents in East of England are being urged to register the birth of their newborns, so HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can verify their Child Benefit claims.
Normally, a birth must be registered before claiming Child Benefit. However, with some local register offices operating at reduced capacity and some parents unable to go to them because of COVID-19, HMRC announced in April that claims could be made without having to register the child’s birth first.
More than 100,000 parents across the UK have been able to take advantage of this temporary change, ensuring that they receive this vital form of financial support. But to ensure they continue to receive the benefit they should register the birth as soon as they can, if they have not done so already. Local register offices in England are Covid-secure and are all operating at full capacity.
HMRC will be contacting anyone who has claimed since April but has not yet registered their child’s birth so that the claim can be verified. Parents will receive an SMS text message or letter asking them to contact their local register office and make an appointment to register their child. If parents receive this letter or text but are currently unable to do this, they can contact HMRC to seek more time.
Karl Khan, Interim Director General for Customer Services, HMRC, said:
“It’s really encouraging to see that parents have taken advantage of the change we put in place earlier this year to help ensure they can claim the financial support they’re entitled to.
“It is now crucial for parents who claimed Child Benefit without registering their child’s birth to do it now so that they continue to receive their benefit.”
Child Benefit claims can only be backdated by up to three months, so it is important that new parents claim as soon as they can so that they receive the maximum financial support available. They should then make an appointment to register the birth at the earliest opportunity so that HMRC can verify the claim.
First time parents will need to fill in Child Benefit claim form CH2 which can be found online and send it to the Child Benefit Office. If they haven’t registered the birth because of COVID-19, they should add a note with their claim to let us know.
If parents already claim Child Benefit, they can complete the form or add their newborn’s details over the telephone on 0300 200 3100. They will need their National Insurance number or Child Benefit number.
Child Benefit payments increased from 6 April this year to a weekly rate of £21.05 for the first child and £13.95 for each additional child. Child Benefit is paid into your bank account, usually every four weeks.