Why has my child benefit reduced? Anxious parents left baffled by payment change

Some parents in receipt of child benefit payments were baffled this morning (Friday) after receiving a payment earlier than normal but also a reduction in amount.
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Social media was flooded with anxious questions from worried parents struggling to make ends meet this morning (Friday) after they received a smaller payment than normal.

Recipients due to be paid on Monday discovered a smaller payment in their accounts today.

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But there is a simple explanation – and it’s because of the upcoming Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.

Child benefit payments are relied on by families in LancashireChild benefit payments are relied on by families in Lancashire
Child benefit payments are relied on by families in Lancashire

The HMRC website says that if your payment is due on Monday May 30, you’ll get your payment, or part of it, early. If you normally get it every four weeks on a Monday, you’ll get one week’s worth of payment today, Friday May 27, and the remaining three weeks’ worth on Monday May 30.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “In short, it’s just processes and working them around the bank holidays, and nothing for customers to worry about.

“We usually process payments for customers on Thursday and Fridays for the following Monday and Tuesday. Of course this isn’t possible because of the bank holidays falling on these two dates next week.

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“Instead, we processed payments due Monday 30 and Tuesday May 31 earlier this week, so that we can process payments due on Monday June 5 early next week (as opposed to the usual Thursday/Friday). This will ensure customers receive payments due on Monday 6 and Tuesday June 7 on time.

“In terms of the split payments, there were some things that we needed to iron out to ensure customers receive their payments on time because of the double bank holiday, which is why they have been processed in this way.

“This however does not leave customers out of pocket as they will still receive the full amount on or before it is usually due.”

There are two child benefit rates: £21.80 per week for your first child, and £14.45 per week for each other child. It is usually paid every four weeks on a Monday or a Tuesday.

You get child benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is under 16 or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training.

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