To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how his Department informs new mothers of their rights to claim child benefit; and if he will make a statement.
Regular communications activity to encourage take-up is issued throughout the year in a variety of formats including via press release and social media posts, and by working with pregnancy and parenting organisations such as Bounty and Emma’s Diary.
In addition to monthly Child Benefit payments, these communications also reference the non-monetary benefits such as National Insurance credits – and provide information about the High Income Child Benefit Charge.
The Child Benefit claim form is included in Bounty Packs which are distributed to all new mothers on maternity wards. Although access to maternity wards for Bounty representatives has been limited throughout the pandemic, Bounty have continued to supply the packs to maternity wards as usual, to be handed to new mothers by hospital staff.
During the pandemic, communications also promoted an easement that temporarily relaxed the policy requirement for Child Benefit claimants to provide a birth registration certificate as part of their claim – as part of additional efforts to ensure new parents were able to overcome pandemic-related disruption and access the support to which they were entitled. This easement ended on 31 October 2021.
We continue to look for effective channels to reach new mothers with information about Child Benefit and the Child Benefit claims process – including via the General Register Office and the Department for Work and Pensions.