Once your child starts going to university, this will be marked as a major event; both in your personal life as well as a benefits claimant. Through this blog post, we aim to learn whether or not someone can still get Child Benefit if their child goes to University. We will also explore the circumstances under which Child Benefit can be claimed for older children and benefits that university students can claim on their own.

Do I Still Get Child Benefit If My Child Goes To University?

No, you can’t claim Child Benefit if your child goes to university. The reason for this is that when your child starts going to university, they are no longer considered to be dependent on you.

Therefore, once your child starts going to university, you will have to inform the Child Benefit Office of this change in circumstance so that your benefit payments can be stopped. Otherwise, you will either be overpaid and will have to return the amount or you will be held guilty of committing benefit fraud. 

Under usual circumstances, if someone has been claiming Child Benefit, they will no longer remain eligible for payments once their child turns 16 years of age. 

However, if the child will be entering a full-time non-advanced course, an apprenticeship or approved training, they will be considered a Qualifying Person. Due to this, the parent will still be able to claim Child Benefit even after the child is 16 years old; and mostly up until they are 19 years of age. 

Full-time non-advanced courses include the following:

  • GCSEs, A levels, iGCSEs, Pre-U and International Baccalaureate
  • NVQ level 1, 2 or 3
  • BTEC National Diploma, National Certificate and 1st Diploma
  • SVQ level 1, 2 or 3
  • Traineeships (in England only)
  • Scottish Group Awards
  • National 4 and 5 (in Scotland only)

Since university education does not fall under the criteria of non-advanced full-time education, students enrolled with them will no longer qualify for Child Benefit for their parents.

Additionally, being classified as a full-time student will make it difficult for your child to be able to claim income-based benefits on their own as well.

If you and your child are struggling with the cost of their education, your child can apply for a student grant or loan to manage their course fee.  While a loan would need to be paid back over a period of time and that too with interest, a charitable grant does not need to be paid back at all. Your child’s student adviser will be able to guide them regarding available options.

Do I Get Child Benefit If My Child Is A Full-Time Student?

Yes, you can get Child Benefit if your child is a full-time student and older than 16 years of age. This applies to all types of full-time education, including apprenticeships, further education, and higher education; during which your child studies for an average of 12 hours per week under the supervision of a teacher or tutor.

There are some exceptions to this rule, however. If your child is in full-time education but also works more than 20 hours per week, they will not be eligible for Child Benefit after they turn 16 years old. 

Similarly, if your child meets the full-time education criteria but is claiming any of the following benefits on their own, you will lose your Child Benefit claim:

  • Income Support 
  • (income-based) Jobseekers Allowance 
  • Employment and Support Allowance 
  • Tax Credits
  • Universal Credit

How Can I Get Child Benefit If My Child Is Older Than 16 Years?

If you are aiming to claim Child Benefit for a child who is older than 16 years of age, the below criteria should be met for your benefit claim to be accpeted:

  • Your child is aged between 16 and 19 years and either in full-time non-advanced education or approved training.
  • Your child is aged either 16 or 17 years and registered for further education, work or training with a local authority support service, careers service, Connexions or similar organisation. 

To be considered as part of an approved training program, your child should not have an employment contract for their apprenticeship. Approved training should be unpaid and can include:

  • Foundation Apprenticeships or Traineeships in Wales
  • Employability Fund programmes in Scotland
  • PEACE IV Children and Young People 2.1, Training for Success, or Skills for Life and Work in Northern Ireland

Can My Child Claim Benefits On Their Own?

Yes, your child can claim certain beenfits on their own. Some of these include the following:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Universal Credit

However, if your child lives with you. the monetary amount of their benefits claim will reduce. Additionally, if they are in full-time education, apprenticeship or training, your child will not qualify for Universal Credit.

In certain cases, once individuals are over 16 years old, they can start claiming their Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments directly; while other benefits will still be claimed by their parents.

17-year-olds who do not live at home with their parents may be entitled to Universal Credit as well as Jobseekers Allowance. If someone is 16 or 17 years of age, expecting a child or already has one (or more), they may additionally be able to claim Income Support.

Conclusion:

The discussion in this article has clarified that one cannot claim Child Benefit once their child starts going to University. This is called a change in one’s circumstances which must be shared with the Child Benefit Office. You can do this online, by calling the Child Benefit Helpline at 0300 200 3100 or by sending a text message at Child Benefit Textphone 0300 200 3103.

FAQs: Do I Still Get Child Benefit If My Child Goes To University?

Do I still get Child Benefit if my child goes to college?

If your child goes to college and takes up non-advanced or training courses, you can still claim Child Benefit. The college will be able to guide you regarding such courses.

Do I still get Child Benefit if my child is doing an apprenticeship?

You can only claim Child Befit if your child is in an unpaid apprenticeship. Even If they earn the minimum wage, you will lose your Child Benefit claim.

Can I claim Universal Credit if my child is in full-time education?

If you qualify for Universal Credit, you can continue receiving your payment even if your child is in full-time education.

Is University classed as full-time non-advanced education?

No, an education at university is not classed as full-time non-advanced education as (a) the Education and Skills Act 2008 does not qualify it so and (b) degree-based courses cannot be classified under this category.

Do I stop paying CSA when my child goes to university?

Yes, you can stop paying CSA when your child goes to university. If a parent has been paying Child Maintenance as per the Child Maintenance Service assessment, it will only be applicable until their child completes their A Levels (or an equivalent).

References:

When your child turns 16 or leaves education | Gingerbread.

My child is going to university – how will this affect my benefits? | Saxon Weald

Child Benefit when your child turns 16 – GOV.UK

Full-time students and other benefits – Turn2us

Check if a change affects your Child Benefit – Citizens Advice