PARENTS whose children are finishing their GCSEs are being urged to take action to ensure their child benefit payments continue.

HMRC say parents need to tell them whether their children are staying in education after receiving their results to avoid missing out on hundreds of pounds per year.

Child benefit payments automatically stop on August 31 or after a child’s 16th birthday if they leave education or training.

This is because HMRC assumes they are old enough to work.

However, teens taking approved courses are still eligible for the benefit, worth up to £20.70 a week, but parents and guardians will only continue to receive it if they tell the tax authority by the end of the month.

Young people qualify for the payment if studying for A Levels, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureate, NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level three. Training courses should be unpaid and can include foundation apprenticeships or traineeships in Wales and traineeships in England.

To update HMRC, visit or return the form sent out to parents earlier this year.