Child Benefit when your child turns 16

Your Child Benefit stops on 31 August on or after your child’s 16th birthday if they leave education or training. It continues if they stay in approved education or training, but you must tell the Child Benefit Office.
You’ll be sent a letter in your child’s last year at school asking you to confirm their plans.

Approved education

Education must be full-time (more than an average of 12 hours a week supervised study or course-related work experience) and can include:
  • A levels or similar, for example Pre-U, International Baccalaureate
  • Scottish Highers
  • NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level 3
  • home education - if started before your child turned 16
  • traineeships in England
Courses are not approved if paid for by an employer or ‘advanced’, for example a university degree or BTEC Higher National Certificate.

Tell the Child Benefit Office if your child is:

Your child must be accepted onto the course before they turn 19.

Approved training

Approved training should be unpaid and can include:
  • Foundation Apprenticeships or Traineeships in Wales
  • Employability Fund programmes in Scotland
  • United Youth Pilot (if started before 1 June 2017), PEACE IV Children and Young People 2.1 or Training for Success in Northern Ireland
Courses that are part of a job contract are not approved.

Tell the Child Benefit Office if your child is:

Your child must be accepted onto the training before they turn 19.

Temporary breaks

Tell the Child Benefit Office about breaks in your child’s education or training, for example if they change college. You might get Child Benefit during the break.

When approved education or training ends

When your child leaves approved education or training, payments will stop at the end of February, 31 May, 31 August or 30 November (whichever comes first).

Apply for an extension

You could get Child Benefit for 20 weeks (called an ‘extension’) if your child leaves approved education or training and either:
  • registers with their local careers service, Connexions (or a similar organisation in Northern Ireland, the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein)
  • signed up to join the armed forces
To qualify your child must:
  • be 16 or 17
  • work less than 24 hours a week
  • not get certain benefits (for example Income Support)
You must have been entitled to Child Benefit immediately before they left the approved education or training and apply for it within 3 months of them leaving.

For further information: