HMRC have created yet another emergency administrative workaround so that people can access the Child Benefit they’re entitled to. Scotland, England and Wales, and Northern Ireland all have their own systems for registering a birth. Due to social distancing measures, most people will find this to be a completely suspended service. And the last thing new parents wants is unnecessary exposure to COVID-19, just to fill in some paperwork.

Usually, registering your baby’s birth is the first step in their life admin. Closely followed by joining your GP practice and claiming Child Benefit. HMRC have figured a way to divert straight to the Child Benefit payments. HMRC’s proactive changes means you have access to some handy cash, without risking your family’s health.

I already claim Child Benefit for my other children, what do I do?

You need your National Insurance number or Child Benefit number to hand. Then phone 0300 200 3100 to add your newborn’s details to your existing account. Or you can fill in the online Child Benefit form, CH2. The amount of Child Benefit for each additional child has just gone up to £13.95 per week.

This is my first child, how does it work?

You get £21.05 per week Child Benefit for your first child, paid into your bank account on a monthly basis. For each additional child, you receive £13.95 per week. These claims can be backdated for 12 weeks.

Only one parent can submit the claim and the money is paid into their bank account. This is also a good way for stay-at-home parents, or those earning less than the Personal Allowance amount, to maintain their State Pension level.

As Director General for Customer Services at HMRC, Angela MacDonald explains: “It’s really important that new parents remember to register for Child Benefit, even during these unprecedented times. The increase in Child Benefit is a boost for family budgets but there’s more to claiming than the payments. We’re encouraging people to claim so they don’t miss out on National Insurance credits that help protect their State Pension. It also helps children to get their National Insurance number automatically at 16.”

As a first time parent, you need to complete the online Child Benefit Claim form CH2. You should tell HMRC that your baby’s birth is not registered yet because of the national health emergency, as part of this application.

More encouragement comes from Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury: “We need people to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. Today’s change means new parents won’t miss out financially and can keep their families safe. The government will do whatever it takes to support people and the NHS during this outbreak, and HMRC is working around the clock to help families and businesses across the UK.”

It’s difficult enough adjusting to your first baby’s arrival, without the support of visiting family and friends. Don’t miss out on this financial boost.