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2021 has been a rough ride, but things are starting to look up. The sun is baking us all to a crisp, you can meet up with your mates, and the pints are flowing freely. So what could make the coming weeks even better? Free money? Yeah, free money would probably do it.
If you were born between September 2002 and January 2011, you could be due a payout from the UK government. Find out more below:
Back in 2002, the UK government started setting money aside in Child Trust Fund schemes, which anybody could claim as soon as they turn 18.
Parents were handed £250 vouchers (£500 for low income families) to set up the savings account.
When the children turned seven, the government topped up the account with another £250 (again £500 for low income families).
If parents did nothing, HMRC set up the account on their behalf - it says this was the case for 1.8 million children.
Parents could top up the funds for their children if they wished to, but that isn't necessary in order to claim the money from the government.
The scheme ended in January 2011, but from September 2020, the oldest of the eligible children began to turn 18.
The BBC reckons the savings - which were tax-free and often invested in the stock market - could now be worth more than £1,000, even without any parental top-ups.
TikTok user @ahmadmusa01 pointed out in an explanatory video that barely anyone is aware that these savings accounts exists.
The funds are easy to access, and you just need to fill out a form online in order to get your hands on that sweet cashola. What are you waiting for?
You can access the form here.
Suffice it to say that people have reacted very, very well to this news.
The original TikTok has racked up over 260,000 likes - with one commenter saying: "Perfect timing 'cause I turned 18 two weeks ago."
Another was less subtle with their excitement: "THIS COUNTRY IS ACTUALLY GIVING ME SOMETHING?" Yes, dear commenter, it really is.
One user said: "My daughter is in the process of getting access to the funds we saved for her as well as what the government put in. She'll be happy when she gets it." I'm sure she will be, lucky so and so.
One TikTok user said their parents 'didn't put any money' into their account, and yet they still had a tidy little sum of £1,800 waiting for them in their fund.
All you need to claim the money in your fund is your National Insurance number, and then you can contact HMRC for details of where your fund is being held.
However, HMRC says it aims to respond to requests within three weeks, so if you want some free cash to enjoy in the sun then you better start sending requests in pronto.
Condolences to anyone born before September 2002, guess we've just got to go and work to get the drinks money in, eh? Unlucky.
Words: Tom Bedworth
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