Child maintenance terms and their meaning

For parents involved in arranging child maintenance, below are some of the key words you'll come across together with their meaning.

Child

For child maintenance purposes, a child is anyone under 16 or someone aged between 16 and 20 who:

  • is not married or in a civil partnership
  • wasn't ever married or in a civil partnership
  • is in full-time non-advanced education

If Child Benefit is still being received, someone under 20 can still be regarded as a child for child maintenance purposes even if they aren't in full-time non-advanced education.

Child Benefit

This is a regular payment made to anyone bringing up children. It is paid for each child who is:

  • under 16
  • under 19 (under 20 in some cases) and in full-time education doing a course    that is not higher than A-level or the same standard or on a Government-funded training programme
  • 16 or 17 and has recently left school and registered with the Department for the Economy or Education Authority for work, education or training

Child maintenance

Money paid by the paying parent to the receiving parent towards their child’s everyday living costs.

Income-related benefits

Income-related benefits are Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance and income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

National Insurance number

This is a reference number issued by the UK Government. Everyone has a unique number and this number allows them to work. It’s usually on your payslips.

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If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

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For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

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For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

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