A child enters or leaves your care

If a child enters or leaves your care you must tell us as soon as possible as it could affect your payments and whether you need to look for work.

  • Child enters your care

    You need to call us on 0800 559 009 and tell us:

    • the date the child entered your care
    • the child's relationship to you
    • the circumstances - this can affect what payments you'll get from us.

    We'll work out if the change affects the benefits you're getting from us.

    We may book you an appointment to come in and see us. If we book you an appointment, we'll let you know what you need to bring.

    You may also need to apply for child support.

  • Child leaves your care

    You need to call us on 0800 559 009 and tell us:

    • the date the child left your care
    • the circumstances - this can affect when payment may reduce or stop.

    We may book you an appointment to come in and see us. If we book you an appointment, we'll let you know what you need to bring.

  • Having another child and your work obligations

    Child under 1

    If you're on a benefit that requires you to look or prepare for work and you have a child come into your care, you will be expected to prepare for work until the child turns 1 year old.

    When the child turns 1 you may have a change in your obligations, depending on the age of your next youngest child.

    If your next youngest child is:

    • under 3 years old, you'll need to continue to take practical steps to prepare for work
    • between 3 and 13, you'll be expected to actively seek part-time work of at least 20 hours a week and accept any suitable job
    • 14 or older, you'll be expected to actively seek full-time work of at least 30 hours a week and accept any suitable job.


    Child over 1

    If you're on a benefit that requires you to look or prepare for work and you have a child come into your care who's over 1 year old, your obligations won't change.

  • Helping you get back into work

    We can help you access training and a range of other support to help you get ready to move into work.

    You may be able to get assistance with the cost of childcare while you're working, attending training or doing some other activity that will help you move into work.

    The Childcare Subsidy is for preschool children and the Out of School Care and Recreation (OSCAR) Subsidy is for before and after school care and holiday programmes for children aged five - 13 years.

    For more information, read:

  • Having a baby

    If you're having a baby, you need to let us know as it could affect your payments and whether you need to look for work.

  • What happens if you don't tell us

    If you don't tell us about children coming into or leaving your care, we may not pay you enough. Or we may pay you too much and you'll have to pay the debt back.