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Child benefit is a payment which is made available to those responsible for raising children in the UK. Britons can expect to receive the payment if their child is under 16, or under 20 if they remain in approved education or training. It is worth noting, however, that only one person can receive child benefit for a child.
Parents and guardians can usually expect to receive their sum once every four weeks on a Monday or Tuesday.
However, the festive period is likely to cause some disruption to the usual pattern.
As such, it is important for those who receive child benefit to make note of when they will be paid over Christmas and New Year.
To assist the process, the government has released important payment date changes for Britons to put in their diaries.
This year, the important date to bear in mind is December 28, 2020.
This is a Monday, which means many will usually expect to receive their child benefit on this date.
However, due to the fact Boxing Day falls on a Saturday this year, a new bank holiday has been built into the calendar.
As this is on December 28, child benefit payments are set to be disrupted as a result.
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Parents and guardians, though, will not have to worry about a lack of this kind of finance, as the payment will be made earlier to compensate.
Instead of Monday December 28, Britons will now receive their payment on Thursday December 24 – Christmas Eve.
This is because this is the last working day before the bank holidays which occur over the Christmas week.
Another bank holiday is likely to affect certain people who are in receipt of child benefit later on.
In Scotland, a New Year bank holiday is to fall on January 4 2021, which will affect those set to be paid on a Monday.
These individuals can also expect to receive an earlier payment in order to ensure they have enough money.
The government website states those affected by the Scottish bank holiday will receive their sum on December 31.
But Scottish people due to be paid on Tuesday, January 5, will in fact be paid a day later.
At present, there are two child benefit rates parents and guardians should bear in mind.
An eldest or only child will receive a weekly child benefit rate of £21.05.
Any additional children will be entitled to £13.95 each per week to assist with costs.
It is ultimately the choice of the parent or guardian what is done with the child benefit sum, but a number of options are recommended.
The sum could be used for the cost of day-to-day living, or for child-related purposes such as buying school uniform or essentials.
Alternatively, some parents may choose to put this money into a savings account or ISA to build up over time.
Regardless, child benefit is not automatic, and so parents and guardians must make a claim by contacting the Child Benefit Office.
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