Parents urged to complete Child Benefit forms

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Parents are being urged to fill in their claims for Child Benefit - and are warned their payments will stop if they fail to do so.

Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw said he was concerned about the return rate of forms sent out so far, with only about a third being completed.

From April 7, Child Benefit will be means-tested and parents have to claim to continue getting the payment.

The Department of Social Care began issuing new Child Benefit claim forms last month in batches based alphabetically by surname.

But concerned about the disappointing return rate of the first batch for surnames A to C, the department has now decided to send out all the remaining forms.

Mr Robertshaw: ‘Everyone should have received their forms by Tuesday. If you haven’t please get in touch. The number of forms coming back is less than we would expect.’

Some £0.5m of savings made by means-testing of Child Benefit are being used to double the amount of money available for pre-school vouchers. Mr Robertshaw said the findings of a report published last week has vindicated the decision to privatise the pre-schools. Data on those children who entered reception class last September highlights improved development in those who completed early years foundation.

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