Aimed at providing a high standard of living for young people across the UK, Child Benefit has become integral to the lives of those who claim it.
With many families now feeling their finances strained as a result of the global credit crunch and – more directly – due to the austerity measures brought in by the current government, the payments are vital in helping parents and guardians provide for those that they are responsible for the care of.
Run by HM Revenue and Customs, anyone claiming Child Benefit is entitled to earn £20.30 per week for their eldest child, as well as an additional £13.40 for any further children they may have. Though previously not means-tested, anyone who earns over £50,000 a year may now no longer be eligible to make a claim.
Thanks to the importance of Child Benefit to many people, it is no surprise that the department is one of the most contacted branches of the benefits system in the UK – but like all government hand outs, successfully making a claim has become more difficult in recent years. Although they have call centres all around the country, the Child Benefit head office is currently based in Washington, Newcastle, and like all government bodies, they also have a strong presence in London too.