Child Benefit: Can you still claim if living abroad? These are the eligible countries | Personal Finance

Child Benefit can be claimed for any child aged under 16 or up to 20 if they stay in approved education or training schemes. Only one parent or guardian can claim Child Benefit but there is no limit on how many children can be claimed for. For an eldest or only child claimants can receive £20.70 per week and additional children will receive £13.70. the payments come through every four weeks.

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Eligibility for Child Benefit follows a relatively simple evaluation process but payments can be affected by trips abroad.

Any trips that last more than eight weeks may affect payments if there is not a valid reason for doing so.

The government detail that Child Benefit payments will still be received if the claimant goes abroad for up to eight weeks for any reason.

It will also still be received for up to 12 weeks if the claimant is abroad for certain reasons such as receiving medical treatment or that they have family abroad who have died.

READ MORE: Child Benefit: Can the benefit be received after the child turns 16?

Child Benefit abroad

Child Benefit can be received abroad in most circustances (Image: GETTY)

State pension

Child Benefit should be claimed as it can help boost state pension (Image: GETTY)

Any trips that last longer than eight weeks will need to be reported to the Child Benefit Office.

If the trips last longer than 12 weeks than the claimant may still receive payments so long as they’re within the EEA (or Switzerland), if they’re eligible to keep paying national insurance in the UK and they’re employed or self-employed.

For partners who live in different countries it will usually be the partner who the child lives with that will usually receive the benefit.

Outside of the EEA there are certain countries that UK citizens can still receive Child Benefit in.

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Child Benefit may still be received if the claimant is in a country that has a social security agreement with the UK.

Examples of countries where this applies includes Canada, New Zealand and Barbados.

To check on any countries relationship with the UK and if Child Benefit will be able to be claimed there the Child Benefit Office should be contacted.

Crown Servants have unique privileges in this area if they are claiming Child Benefit.

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Child Benefit is one of the few benefits not rolled into Universal Credit (Image: EXPRESS)


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These workers can receive Child Benefit if they’re working in any country outside the UK, regardless if their child lives with them.

As mentioned, Child Benefit should be claimed in as many of these circumstances as possible as there are additional perks associated with the benefit.

If Child Benefit is claimed, the child themselves will be automatically issued with a national insurance number before their 16th birthday.

If Child Benefit isn’t claimed other benefits could also be missed out on, which includes Guardian’s Allowance.


Child Benefit rates

Child Benefit rates haven’t changed for a number of years (Image: EXPRESS)

For the parents however, the likely biggest concern is the impact it will have on state pensions.

Claiming Child Benefit will provide credits towards state pension.

This will help ensure that state pensions are somewhat protected in the event that gaps occur in national insurance payments.

This could be especially useful for some parents who may stop working to raise a child, meaning that national insurance isn’t paid as they’re not receiving employment income.