Martin Lewis issues urgent warning for 750,000 families missing out on £2,000 a year – how to claim | The Sun

MARTIN Lewis has issued an urgent warning to hundreds of thousands of families missing out on £2,000 a year.

The money-saving expert said 750,000 households aren't claiming child benefit when they could be.

You receive child benefit if you're responsible for bringing up a child under 16 or who is under 20 and in education or training.

It can be worth up to £24 a week so is well worth claiming if you're eligible.

However, you have to register for child benefit as it's not paid to you automatically, meaning hundreds of thousands are missing out.

Martin explained on his latest podcast how the average amount these people are missing out on is £2,000 a year.

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He said: "Some new parents don't realise you must register for child benefit.

"Simply registering your child's birth isn't enough. You register for child benefit separately."

Martin added that other families might miss out if one person is earning over £60,000 a year.

This is because if one person in a household earns this amount or more, you have to pay all your child benefit back to HMRC.

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But, if your salary were to drop below £60,000 you would be entitled for payments again, albeit with some deductions.

Martin explained: "Others aren't claiming because they were higher earners didn't claim.

"Now circumstances have changed and your income has dropped below £60,000 and you haven't restarted a claim.

"So it is worth doing that if you are newly eligible again."

Meanwhile, even if one person in a couple is earning over £60,000, Martin said it is still worth signing up to child benefit if the other person, who is staying at home to care for the child, is earning £59,999 or less.

This is because even if you don't get paid child benefit, you will still receive National Insurance credits that count towards your state pension.

He said: "If you register for child benefit and you click the 'I don't want to be paid box', you do get National Insurance credits that can be incredibly value and will give you a bigger state pension when you get to retirement for that non-working parent.

"So don't not claim child benefit, claim it but ask not to be paid."

What is child benefit?

You receive child benefit if you're responsible for bringing up a child under 16 or who is under 20 and in education or training.

You get paid different amounts depending on which child the benefit is for.

It is £24 for your eldest or only child and then £15.90 for any additional children.

However, if you earn £50,000 or more, the Government starts deducting the benefit from you.

If you breach £60,000 a year on your salary, you have to pay back all of it back.

This is through what's known as the High Income Child Benefit charge.

It's worth noting, it is your responsibility to tell HMRC if you need to pay any of your child benefit back.

If you don't, you will not only be stung with having to pay it back, you might have to pay a fine on top too.

One father told The Sun how he was hit with a £3,000 child benefit bill after failing to report earning over a certain amount.

When is child benefit paid?

Despite child benefit payment rates being weekly, they are paid every four weeks, on a Monday or Tuesday.

That said, you can have the money paid weekly if you're a single parent or getting certain other benefits like Income Support.

You can get the money paid into any account, unless it's a Nationwide cashbuilder account in someone else's name.

You can only get the money paid into one account.

How do I apply?

You can open a claim as soon as you have registered the birth of your child, or once they come to live with you.

It can take four months to process a new child benefit claim, sometimes longer if you are new to the UK.

However, you can get payments backdated by up to three months so can recoup some of the lost money.

Either way, it's worth starting the application process as soon as you can.

To apply, you'll need to fill in a Child Benefit claim form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office.

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The address to send it to is: Child Benefit Office, Washington, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE88 1ZD.

Remember you'll need a stamp in order to send off the application form. You can buy these from the Post Office.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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