Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit for 16-19 year olds

Has your Child Benefit or Child Tax Credit stopped because you have a child who has turned 16?

These benefits usually stop on 31 August after a child turns 16, but if your child is in full-time approved education or training, you can still claim for them until they are 19, or in some cases 20.

Changes introduced this year mean that Child Tax Credit will also stop automatically when you child turns 18 or 19, unless you tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that they are in approved education or training.

Approved education or training can include GCSEs, A/AS levels, national diplomas and NVQs up to level 3, as well as apprenticeships or traineeships. You can find information about what counts as approved education or training on the GOV.UK website at The education must be non-advanced, so studying for a degree at university doesn’t count. A young person must be accepted onto an approved course or training before their 19th birthday to be eligible.

You can tell HMRC if your child is eligible in the following ways:

  • by phoning 0300 200 3100
  • by post to Child Tax Credits, Tax Credits Office, Preston, PR1 4AT, and to Child Benefit Office, PO Box 1, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE88 1AA. You’ll need to write to each office separately if you’re claiming both
  • online at for Child Benefit only.

You can get help with online benefit issues, and can use our computers, at our new digital claiming centre, at Salford City Bureau in Salford Precinct.

It’s also important to let HMRC know if a young person leaves approved education or training, for instance to start work or because their course has ended. If you don’t report a change, you could build up an overpayment, which you will have to pay back. You could also be given a penalty for failing to report a change, or even prosecuted for benefit fraud if you are found to have deliberately claimed money you were not entitled to.

For help from Salford Citizens Advice visit your local bureau in Eccles, Irlam and Cadishead, Salford City, Swinton, Walkden or at Salford Royal.

Telephone our advice line: 0844 826 9695 (if calling from a landline or if calling from a mobile 0300 456 2554), which is now open on Saturdays.

You can also follow us on Twitter for regular news and advice updates, or by going to you can find out about all the advice services in Salford, which have came together to make getting advice easier.

Tom Togher.