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For the first time since it was launched 47 years ago, new parents are now able to apply for Child Benefit online.

Beforehand, those claiming Child Benefit would need to fill out a paper form, post it and wait as long as 16 weeks for their first payment.

Now, it takes just 10 minutes to fill out online and payments could be made in as little as three days.

Nigel Huddleston, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said, “Family time is precious, especially when you have a newborn baby, so it’s great news that HMRC is enabling parents to save time on claiming their child benefit online so they can focus on what truly matters.”

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Suzanne Newton, HMRC’s Interim Director General for Transformation, added, “We know how much parents and guardians rely on Child Benefit to help with essential costs. We’ve made it far easier and quicker for families to claim this crucial help by making it digital.

“Parents and guardians can apply online when it suits them and be paid within days, not weeks. Go to GOV.UK and search ‘Claim Child Benefit online’ and follow the simple steps to apply.”

Child Benefit is worth £24 a week (£1,248 a year) for the oldest, or only child. The rate for each additional child is £15.90 a week (almost £827 a year). Claims can be backdated for up to 12 weeks with the government encouraging families to apply as soon as possible so they don’t miss out.

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