Becoming a new parent is such an exciting and busy time. With feeding to get used to, recovering from the birth, visitors coming to see your baby and everything else that goes along with your new arrival, you might forget there are also some formalities to take care of.
This guide will briefly cover some of those and how to go about taking care of them:
Registering the Birth
You need to register the birth of a child within 42 days (six weeks). Your hospital or midwife should be able to tell you where the closest registry office in your district is, and you can find their contact details online or by contacting your local council. Most require you to make an appointment in advance and when you make this they will advise you what to bring and who should attend. You will be given one short version of the birth certificate for free (which is sufficient for claiming child benefit), but will need to pay for long versions (long versions are required for passports).
Six Week Post Natal Check-up
You should book a post natal check up with your GP between six and eight weeks following your baby’s birth. Your GP may require you to register your baby with them prior to booking this, which usually involves filling a form in. As some doctors have long waits for appointments it is a good idea to make this appointment as soon as you can.
Everyone in the UK is entitled to Child Benefit as it is not means tested. In the Bounty pack you receive in hospital there is a form to fill in and send off, along with your child’s birth certificate. If you don’t receive this pack you can download the form by searching the HMRC website. If you wait longer than three months you may lose some of your entitlement as Child Benefit can only be backdated for three months.
Additionally, you may now be entitled to Tax Credits that you couldn’t claim before. There is a helpline which, again, can be found on the HMRC website. They will advise you what you can claim and also send the claim pack out to you.
Click here for a website called turn2us that anybody can use for free to give you an idea of benefits you may be entitled to claim, so if you are still unsure, or want to check if you can claim any other benefits, it’s a good idea to go through this website as a first port of call.
Remember – if you’re not sure, ask!
Your health visitor is a great source of information about the formalities mentioned above, so if you want to know more, just give your health visitor a call and they will be able to advise you, or put you in touch with someone who can help.