Child Benefit Act 1975

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1975 c. 61


Child Benefit Act 1975

1975 CHAPTER 61

An Act to replace family allowances with a new benefit to be known as child benefit and, pending the introduction of that benefit, to provide an interim benefit for unmarried or separated parents with children; to amend the Family Allowances Act 1965 as respects children entitled to non-contributory invalidity pension; to repeal paragraph 5 of Schedule 2 to the Supplementary Benefit Act 1966; and for purposes connected with those matters.

[7th August 1975]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Child Benefit

Part I

Child Benefit

Entitlement and amount

Entitlement and amount

S-1 Child benefit.

1 Child benefit.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, a person who is responsible for one or more children in any week beginning on or after the appointed day shall be entitled to a benefit (to be known as ‘child benefit’) for that week in respect of the child or each of the children for whom he is responsible.

(2) Child benefit shall be paid by the Secretary of State out of moneys provided by Parliament.

(3) No allowances shall be payable under the Family Allowances Act 1965 for any period beginning on or after the appointed day.

S-2 Meaning of ‘child’.

2 Meaning of ‘child’.

(1) For the purposes of this Part of this Act a person shall be treated as a child for any week in which—

(a ) he is under the age of sixteen; or

(b ) he is under the age of nineteen and receiving full-time education by attendance at a recognised educational establishment.

(2) In determining for the purposes of paragraph (b ) of subsection (1) above whether a person is receiving full-time education as mentioned in that paragraph, no account shall be taken of such interruptions as may be prescribed.

(3) Regulations may provide that a person who in any week ceases to fall within subsection (1) above shall be treated as continuing to do so for a prescribed period ending not more than thirteen weeks after the end of that week; but no person shall by virtue of any such regulations be treated as continuing to fall within that subsection for any week after that in which he attains the age of nineteen.

S-3 Meaning of ‘person responsible for child’.

3 Meaning of ‘person responsible for child’.

(1) For the purposes of this Part of this Act a person shall be treated as responsible for a child in any week if—

(a ) he has the child living with him in that week; or

(b ) he is contributing to the cost of providing for the child at a weekly rate which is not less than the weekly rate of child benefit payable in respect of the child for that week.

(2) Where a person has had a child living with him at some time before a particular week he shall be treated for the purposes of this section as having the child living with him in that week notwithstanding their absence from one another unless, in the sixteen weeks preceding that week, they were absent from one another for more than fifty-six days not counting any day which is to be disregarded under subsection (3) below.

(3) Subject to subsection (4) below, a day of absence shall be disregarded for the purposes of subsection (2) above if it is due solely to the child's—

(a ) receiving full-time education by attendance at a recognised educational establishment;

(b ) undergoing medical or other treatment as an in-patient in a hospital or similar institution; or

(c ) being, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, in residential accommodation pursuant to arrangements made under section 12 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 or section 27(1) of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1947 .

(4) The number of days that may be disregarded by virtue of subsection (3)(b ) or (c ) above in the case of any child shall not exceed such number as may be prescribed unless the person claiming to be responsible for the child regularly incurs expenditure in respect of the child.

(5) Regulations may prescribe the circumstances in which a person is or is not to be treated—

(a ) as contributing to the cost of providing for a child as required by subsection (1)(b ) above; or

(b ) as regularly incurring expenditure in respect of a child as required by subsection (4) above;

and such regulations may in particular make provision whereby a contribution made or expenditure incurred by two or more persons is to be treated as made or incurred by one of them or whereby a contribution made or expenditure incurred by one of two spouses residing together is to be treated as made or incurred by the other.

S-4 Exclusions and priority.

4 Exclusions and priority.

(1) Regulations may provide that child benefit shall not be payable by virtue of section 2(1)(b ) above in such cases as may be prescribed; and Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect for excluding entitlement to child benefit in other cases.

(2) Where, apart from this subsection, two or more persons would be entitled to child benefit in respect of the same child for the same week, one of them only shall be entitled; and the question whish of them is entitled shall be determined in accordance with Schedule 2 to this Act.

S-5 Rate of child benefit.

5 Rate of child benefit.

(1) Child benefit shall be payable at such weekly rate as may be prescribed.

(2) Different rates may be prescribed in relation to different cases, whether by reference to the age of the child in respect of whom the benefit is payable or otherwise.

(3) The power to prescribe different rates under subsection (2) above shall be exercised so as to bring different rates into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by order specify.

(4) No rate prescribed in place of a rate previously in force shall be lower than the rate that it replaces.

(5) In the year beginning with the appointed day and in each subsequent year beginning with the anniversary of that day, the Secretary of State shall consider whether the rate or any of the rates then in force under this section should be increased having regard to the national economic situation as a whole, the general standard of living and such other matters as he thinks relevant.

(6) The transitional provisions contained in Schedule 3 to this Act shall have effect where there is an increase in the rate or any of the rates for the time being in force under this section.

Administration and enforcement

Administration and enforcement

S-6 Claims and payment.

6 Claims and payment.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, no person shall be entitled to child benefit unless he claims it in the prescribed manner.

(2) Unless regulations otherwise provide, no person shall be entitled to child benefit for any week more than fifty-two weeks before that in which it is claimed.

(3) Except where regulations otherwise provide, no person shall be entitled to child benefit for any week on a claim made by him after that week if child benefit in respect of the same child has already been paid for that week to another person, whether or not that other person was entitled to it.

(4) Regulations may make provision—

(a ) for permitting a claim to child benefit to be made, or treated as if made, for a period beginning after the date on which the claim is made;

(b ) for permitting an award on any such claim to be made for a period beginning after the date on which the claim is made subject to the condition that the claimant satisfies the requirements for entitlement when benefit becomes payable under the award;

(c ) for the review of any such award if those requirements are found not to have been satisfied;

(d ) for enabling one person to act for another in relation to a claim to child benefit and for enabling such a claim to be made and proceeded with in the name of a person who has died;

(e ) for a claim to child benefit to be treated as a claim to benefits under any other Act and for a claim to any such benefits to be treated as a claim to child benefit.

(5) Regulations may also make provision—

(a ) as to the time when and the manner in which child benefit is to be paid;

(b ) as to the information and evidence to be furnished by persons claiming or entitled to child benefit or to whom child benefit is being or may be paid;

(c ) for child benefit to which one person is entitled to be paid to another person on his behalf;

(d ) for the payment or distribution of child benefit to or among persons claiming to be entitled on the death of any person and for dispensing with strict proof of their title;

(e ) for extinguishing the right to child benefit if it is not obtained within a prescribed period, not being less than twelve months from the date on...

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