New parents can now claim Child Benefit online for the first time since it was launched 47 years ago.

Since 1977, families claiming Child Benefit had to fill out a paper form, post it, and wait as long as 16 weeks for their first payment.

Now, the process on GOV.UK takes about 10 minutes and payments could be made in as little as three days. 
Child Benefit is worth £24 a week – or £1,248 a year – for the oldest, or only child. The rate for each additional child is £15.90 a week – or almost £827 a year.

Claims can be backdated for up to 12 weeks and families are encouraged to apply as soon as possible so they don’t miss out. 

HMRC’s interim director general for transformation, Suzanne Newton, said: “We know how much parents and guardians rely on Child Benefit to help with essential costs.

"We’ve made it far easier and quicker for families to claim this crucial help by making it digital. 

“Parents and guardians can apply online when it suits them and be paid within days, not weeks.

"Go to GOV.UK and search ‘Claim Child Benefit online’ and follow the simple steps to apply.” 

Natalie Smith, a blogger at Frugal Mum, said: “No more paper forms for new parents - hurray!

"You can complete your application when it suits you online at GOV.UK and your Child Benefit can be backdated by up to three months – so don’t put it off.”

Parents or guardians can get Child Benefit if they are responsible for bringing up a child who is under 16, or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training.

There is no limit on the number of children parents can claim for.

HMRC said people need to be aware of falling victim to scams and should never share their login details with anyone.