Knowledge Analysis & Intelligence
100 Parliament Street
([FOI #8904 email])
0207 147 0646
0207 147 0227
17 March 2009
Dear Mr Tyes FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST – CHILD BENEFIT CLAIMANTS
I refer to your email request of 07 March 2009 under the above legislation, for
information about Child Benefit claimants. You have asked us to confirm the:
a) percentage take up of Child Benefit as at the latest date for which figures are
b) percentage of current claims of Child Benefit paid to mothers, fathers and to
more than one person; and,
c) breakdown of Child Benefit to first and subsequent children, and by the
number of families, if possible.
The response to your request is provided below. Where information is reasonably
available to you by other means, it is exempt from disclosure because of the
exemption in Section 21, Freedom of Information Act 2000. Where I apply that
exemption, I have indicated where the published information can be found.
a) Take up of Child Benefit
Information on the percentage take up rate of Child Benefit is available on page 19
of the “HMRC Autumn Performance Report 2008”, which is available on the HMRC
website at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/reports.htm. For 2006-07, the take-up rate
Information is available in large print, audio tape and Braille formats.
Type Talk service prefix number – 18001
b) Child Benefit paid to mothers, fathers and to more than one person
HMRC does not hold information on the percentage of current claims of Child Benefit
paid to mothers and fathers as the relationship between a child and the person
receiving Child Benefit in respect of that child does not affect the status of awards.
However, the gender of applicants is recorded at the time they apply for Child
Benefit. Based on this initial information, we estimate that the proportion of males in
receipt of Child Benefit as at August 2007 was around 7%. It is likely that most of
these are fathers.
Child Benefit is paid to only one person at a time therefore it is not legally possible
for more than one person to claim Child Benefit in respect of the same child.
c) Child Benefit to first and subsequent children by number of families
Information on the breakdown of Child Benefit awards by the number of children is
available in Table 2 of the latest quarterly publication, “Child Benefit Statistics,
August 2007” which is available at (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/child_benefit/aug-
07.pdf). This publication shows that there were 13.3m children included in Child
Benefit awards, of which 7.5m of them were classified as the eldest child and the
remainder (5.8m) classified as subsequent children.
An indication of the value of Child Benefit awards can be derived by multiplying
these estimates by the weekly Child Benefit rates available in Appendix B of the
Should you have queries about this letter, please contact me at the address given
above. Please remember to quote the reference number in this letter in any future
If you are not happy with this reply you may request a review by writing to HMRC
FOI Team, Room 4/52, 100 Parliament Street London SW1A 2BQ. You must
request a review within 2 months of the date of this letter. It would assist our review if
you set out which aspects of the reply concern you and why you are dissatisfied.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to
the Information Commissioner for a decision. He can be contacted at The
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF. You should be aware that, generally, the Information
Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Department.
HM Revenue & Customs
100 Parliament Street
London SW1A 2BQ
Tel: 0207 147 0646
Email: [email address]