Child Benefit is a state-provided financial support payment for families with children. The amount of Child Benefit you receive depends on how many children you have and your personal circumstances. The aim of this blog is to inform its readers of the age when Child Benefit stops if their child is in full-time education. For a better understanding of how the situation impacts one’s benefits claim, we will also discuss the effect of apprenticeships, gaps in education and your child’s own benefits claim on Child Benefit.

What Age Does Child Benefit Stop If The Child Is In Full-Time Education?

If your child is in full-time education, Child Benefit payments will not stop until they turn 20 years old. 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.

Full-time non-advanced education includes the following educational courses in the UK:

  • 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)

To be considered in approved training, your child should not have an employment contract for their apprenticeship. Approved training should be unpaid and can include the following: 

  • 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

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. 

It is important that you keep the Child Benefit department updated regarding such changes to your circumstances. 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

Can Child Benefit Stop Even If Someone Is In Full-Time Education?

Yes, there are certain situations that can lead to your Child Benefit being stopped even if you meet the qualifying criteria. 

For instance, if your child leaves their full-time education temporarily and starts working, your Child Benefit payments will stop. However, once they resume full-time education, you can reclaim your Child Benefit. 

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

Meanwhile, if a student receives any of the following loans, their benefit payment will reduce:

  • Maintenance Loan
  • Post Graduate Loan
  • Professional And Career Development Loan

Additionally, If a student receives an NHS bursary or teacher training bursary, their benefits can also be affected as a result.

Can I Get Child Benefit If My Child Is On An Apprenticeship?

Yes, you can get Child Benefit if your child is on an apprenticeship only if they are considered a “qualifying person”. This means that they must be able to fulfil the below criteria for you to continue receiving Child Benefit:

  • Aged between 16 and 19 years and either in full-time non-advanced education or approved training.
  • 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. 

It has only been five years since an amendment to extend child benefit entitlement for apprentices was passed as the benefit could only be claimed by parents of full-time students before this.

However, under the following circumstances, you will not be able to claim Child Benefit for your child while they are on an apprenticeship:

  • Aged between 16 and 19 years and in advanced education
  • Aged 19 and undertaking full-time non-advanced education or approved training
  • Aged 20 years 
  • Claiming state benefits including Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, tax credits or Universal Credit on their own

If your child receives a wage for their work as an apprentice, you will lose your eligibility for 

Child Benefit. 

Is An Apprenticeship Full-Time Education?

Yes, an apprenticeship counts as full-time education if you are able to work for at least 30 hours per week under the apprenticeship national minimum wage. If working hours are to be reduced due to the nature of the execution of work and the individual’s circumstances, it can only be reduced to 16 hours to be counted as an apprenticeship. 

In this case, the duration of the apprenticeship period must be extended. This means that a two-year apprenticeship that requires you to work for 16 hours per week, may need to be extended to a three-year duration to make up for missing essential hours.

According to UK law, you must be in full-time education until the age of 18 years. However, the government requires you to either work as an apprentice or spend at least 20 hours per week for volunteer work alongside training or studying.

If you are 16 years or older, living in England and not enrolled in full education, you can be an apprentice.

Conclusion:

The discussion in this article brings us to the conclusion that even though Child Benefit usually stops at 16 years of age,  one can continue claiming Child Benefit until their child is 20 years old if they are in full-time education or an apprenticeship, not earning a wage or claiming benefits on their own and can provide evidence in support of these conditions. However, despite meeting the eligibility criteria for Child Benefit, there are some changes in personal circumstances such as your child earning a wage that affect your benefit claim.

FAQs: What Age Does Child Benefit Stop If The Child Is In Full-Time Education?

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.

Can I claim benefits if I am in full-time education?

If you are in full-time education, you can claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance only if you also receive Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

Can a 19-year-old in full-time education claim Universal Credit?

No, a 19-year-old in full-time education will not qualify to claim Universal Credit on their own. However, their parents can make the claim on their behalf.

References:

Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit for 16-19-year-olds – Citizens Advice.

Child Benefit for young people aged 16 or over – GOV.UK

When your child turns 16 or leaves education | Gingerbread

When do you stop receiving child benefits and what other support is available for parents?

Children between 16 and 20

Child Benefit when your child turns 16 – GOV.UK

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