Shropshire’s not-for-profit savings and loans co-operative Just Credit Union say often parents don’t realise that on August 31 – or after their child’s 16th birthday – Child Benefit will cease if that son or daughter leaves education or training.
“Child Benefit continues if the child stays in approved education or training, but parents must tell the Child Benefit Office that they are remaining in education,” advised Steve Barras, Development Officer at Just Credit Union.
“Parents will have received a letter in the child’s last year at school asking them to confirm their plans. But if they don’t let the school know they will lose out.”
He advised that approved education is education that is full time – more than an average of 12 hours a week supervised study or course-related work experience.
It can include A levels or similar, T levels, NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level 3 traineeships.
He advises that courses are not approved if paid for by an employer or ‘advanced’. For example, a university degree or BTEC Higher National Certificate.
Approved training should be unpaid and includes Foundation Apprenticeships, but courses that are part of a job contract are not approved.
Steve said: “Parents should let the Child Benefit Office know that their child is staying in approved education or training after the age of 16 using the CH297 online form. This will ensure that payments continue without any gap.
“We provide links to the information and forms parents will need in the news section of our website (justcreditunion.org)”.
He added: “When a child leaves approved education or training payments will stop at the end of February May 31, August 31 or November 30 – whichever comes first.”