Stirling MP Welcomes Online Application Option for Child Benefit


Categories: Children and Young People, SNP Scottish Government, , UK Government (Westminster)

Residents Urged to Apply for Support in Cost of Living Crisis

Local Stirling MP Alyn Smith has welcomed an update to the application process for Child Benefit, with HMRC introducing an online option in a bid to reduce processing and waiting times.

Since its inception in 1977, families seeking Child Benefit were required to complete a paper form, post it, and wait up to 16 weeks for their initial payment. The new online claims process on GOV.UK claims to reduce the wait time to as little as 3 days, with initial applications taking approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Child Benefit, valued at £24 per week (or £1,248 annually) for the oldest or only child, and £15.90 per week (or nearly £827 annually) for each additional child, can now be claimed promptly. Claims can be backdated for up to 12 weeks, emphasising the importance of early application to avoid missing out.

Claiming Child Benefit also ensures parents receive National Insurance credits that contribute to their State Pension. Furthermore, it guarantees that the child automatically receives a National Insurance number at the age of 16, a crucial requirement for significant life events such as employment, driving tests, and university finance applications.

Stirling MP Alyn Smith said:

‘As we enter 2024, many households and families across Stirling face the ever-present financial pressures in this cost of living crisis. This long overdue administrative change from HMRC is welcome, and if successful will help reduce the scandalous waiting times and additional stress faced by applicants, who are only seeking the social security assistance to which they are entitled.

‘The Scottish Government offers support too – through their dedicated agency Social Security

Scotland, families can access a full range of services and schemes. More information can be found at:

Further information:

  • parents can claim Child Benefit from the day after a child’s birth has been registered; make sure to have the birth certificate to hand when claiming.
  • create a Government Gateway account when making a claim for Child Benefit, with a passport and other proofs of ID. This can also be done in advance of a child’s birth to save time later on. A full list of the documents needed for proof of identity can be found on GOV.UK.
  • when creating a new account, HMRC will send you an activation code via email. Once received, you can then apply for Child Benefit online.

When ready to make the claim, applicants should have the following documents to hand:

  • the child’s birth certificate
  • your bank details
  • your National Insurance number
  • your partner’s National insurance number (if you have a partner)

Families with adopted children, or whose child’s birth was registered outside the UK, can claim for Child Benefit online but will need to send additional information through the post to support their application.

Parents with children over 3 months old who have yet to claim are urged to do so as soon as possible as they can receive up to 3 months’ backdated Child Benefit. Parents with children over 6 months’ old may be required to download and print their completed claim form and send it through the post.