Home > Children & Money > Legal Entitlement to Child Benefit and Tax Credits

Legal Entitlement to Child Benefit and Tax Credits

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 28 Mar 2017 |
 
Child Benefit Claim Government Interest

Child benefit is available to anyone with children under 16 and is payable either monthly or weekly. There is no means test, which means that it is available regardless of your savings or income. Parents and guardians can claim for child benefit for children who are:

  • Under the age of 16
  • Over the age of 16 and under the age of 20 but are in education or training
  • Under the age 18 and have recently left education or training, but they must have registered for work, education or training with a careers service, Connexions, Ministry of Defence or similar

How Much Is Child Benefit?

This depends on how many children you have. If you have one child, the rate is £20.70 per week. If you have more than one child, each subsequent child (not including the first born) will attract £13.70 each per week. Most people receive this money once a month, although those on benefits such as Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance are able to receive child benefit weekly. Single parents are also entitled to receive child benefit on a weekly basis.

Does My Child Have To Live With Me?

It is not necessary for your child to live with you in order for you to claim, although you will have to show that you contribute towards the upkeep of your child, and that you pay at least the amount of child benefit towards that upkeep. If a child lives between two households, only one person claim for child benefit on behalf of that child – it is not possible to claim twice or split entitlement.

Child Tax Credits

If you are working, and are responsible for a child (or children) you may be entitled to receive child tax credit. Those who are on low wages (approximately less than £17,400 per annum) may be eligible for working tax credit. Contrary to popular myth you do not actually need to have children in order to claim working tax credit.

Nine out of ten families in the UK qualify for tax credits. The amount that you receive will depend on several factors: the number of children in your household; the amount of hours you work each week; whether you pay for childcare costs; whether you are over 50 years old; and whether any of your children suffer from a disability.

Child Trust Funds

The Child Trust Fund (CTF), a government initiative which gave every child born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011 a £250 financial start in life, has now been scrapped. Babies born on or after 3 January 2011 do not receive any CTF payments.

CTFs that are already in place will continue to benefit from this tax-free investment, and it will still be possible for parents to make a contribution to their child's account, as long as no contributions amount to more than £1,200 per annum. The fund cannot be accessed until the child reaches the age of 18.

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[Add a Comment]
My husband is a uk citizen I came to join him last three years we have a son.. He's working full time and all this time am not working because I have to take care of the baby. He gave me child benefit papers to sign it been a year now he's not telling me anything about it. I don't know if he's keeping the money or something else How can you help to get my sons benefit?
Fahapa - 28-Mar-17 @ 10:19 PM
Hi my son is 17 he recently got kicked off his college course, but has since applied and got onto another course this doesn't start until September am I still allowed to claim my child benefit in the mean time Many thanks
Lou lou - 28-Mar-17 @ 6:23 PM
help - Your Question:
Hello, I would like to ask.I am a full-time student studying at sixth-form. I just found a part-time job and got in, however, will my income affect my parents benefits like Housing or Council? Thanks for advice.

Our Response:
Not while you're still classed as a full time student in further education up to A level or equivalent standard.
LawAndParents - 28-Mar-17 @ 12:35 PM
Paddy - Your Question:
Helo my partner don't have a nino because we have Two babys and she dont look for work it is just me to work we apply together for tax child credit and work tax credit. But I still waiting 6 months and when I call they say my partner needs to apply first for nino and then to apply to tax credit but when I call to job benefits to apply to nino the miss on job centre say " the hmrc need to send us requests for your partner nino and we send a invitation to appointments. Some one help because is just me to work and my babys need nurse and I just working for babys essentially and bills I almost don't see my family just because I work to have food and bills pay. Thanks all

Our Response:
You could try the National Insurance Numbers Helpline or webchat for more assistancehttps://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/national-insurance-numbers . Sorry but we don't really know how else we can help without more information.
LawAndParents - 28-Mar-17 @ 11:42 AM
Hello, I would like to ask. I am a full-time student studying at sixth-form. I just found a part-time job and got in, however, will my income affect my parents benefits like Housing or Council? Thanks for advice.
help - 27-Mar-17 @ 9:18 AM
Helo my partner don't have a nino because we have Two babys and she dont look for work it is just me to work we apply together for tax child credit and work tax credit . But i still waiting 6 months and when i call they say my partner needs to apply first for nino and then to apply to tax credit but when i call to job benefits to apply to nino the miss on job centre say " the hmrc need to send us requests for your partner nino and we send a invitation to appointments. Some one help because is just me to work and my babys need nurse and i just working for babys essentially and bills i almost don't see my family just because i work to have food and bills pay . Thanks all
Paddy - 27-Mar-17 @ 12:23 AM
HI, I'm a single dad to two kids Monday to Friday and work weekends, I only claim child benefit and tax/workingtax credits one for one child their mam claims for the other. My question is upon using the benefits calculator I see more help is awarded for rent and council tax when you have two dependants my question is am I able to claim housing benefit and council tax support for two kids while only receiving child benefit and tax credits for one of my kids.
Daz - 24-Mar-17 @ 9:12 PM
Mitzy - Your Question:
I have a gardianship allowance for my grandchildren (shared guardian with their mum)and we are trying to get mum a council house so she can have the children back with her but unless she has proof that the children are hers/with her I.e fam allowence they will only let her have one bed flat Not good for young children. What I want to know can I have the child benefit paid into her bank. ?? Will I need to inform the people who pay guardianship allowence??

Our Response:
Do you have a social worker or support worker involved? Could they step in and provide some evidence of your situation?
LawAndParents - 24-Mar-17 @ 12:43 PM
My daughter has been thrown out fromher mother's home. I have purchased a property for my daughter to live in whilst she attends college to finish her GCSE's. I live with my partner some distance away , can I make a new claim for child benefit , I will be giving my daughter a daily allowance which per month is double the child benefit payment , taking her food shopping which I will pay for and pay for all house hold bills etc. I will be at my daughters house twice a week but not sleeping there.I wish to continue living with my partner , so to clarify my daughter will not be living with me/ us . Am I breaking the law.
Dippy - 24-Mar-17 @ 10:27 AM
my partner has 2 children from his previous relationship. We now have a daughter together who is 2. My partner pays £300 per month child maintenance plus helps out with money for clothes, holidays etc. we also pay out nearly £300 per month in childcare for our daughter. The children older children live 70 miles away so every time we have them which is every 2weeks plus all holidays we pay £40 per weekend in fuel. my question is are we entitled to any financial help. We are literally living on the bare minimum each month.... We both work but seems that is not enough!
Hope - 23-Mar-17 @ 7:27 PM
kaz - Your Question:
Hi my son is at college and we receive child benefit, he will be staying in college another year, which means he will be 20 by the time he leaves. Can I claim child benefit for his last year in college for will it stop this July, he turns 19 in june, but final year will start September

Our Response:
Yes you should be able to continue to claim as long as he is in education no high than A level standard.
LawAndParents - 22-Mar-17 @ 10:54 AM
I have a gardianship allowance for my grandchildren (shared guardian with their mum)and we are trying to get mum a council house so she can have the children back with her but unless she has proof that the children are hers/with her I.e fam allowence they will only let her have one bed flatNot good for young children. What I want to know can I have the child benefit paid into her bank. ?? Will I need to inform the people who pay guardianship allowence??
Mitzy - 21-Mar-17 @ 6:30 PM
G- Your Question:
My ex is living in a house with his son who is in college and works part time and pays 30 quid a week board. And my son. He is claiming council tax as a single person and child benefit and tax credits for too children. Is this right. Surely if he has a working person he should pay full council tax and not be able to claim child benefit and council tax for him

Our Response:
Child Benefit and tax credits can be claimed while children are still in further education, even if they have a part time job.Council tax discounts are also available if you have students living with you.
LawAndParents - 21-Mar-17 @ 11:36 AM
I get child tax credit my son os 17 and at college he has just got a part time job 16 hours will i.lose money and do i have to declare it and how many hours can he do
Bladette - 20-Mar-17 @ 8:08 PM
Hi my son is at college and we receive child benefit,he will be staying in college another year,which means he will be 20 by the time he leaves. Can I claim child benefit for his last year in college for will it stop this July,he turns 19 in june, but final year will start September
kaz - 19-Mar-17 @ 11:42 AM
My ex is living in a house with his son who is in college and works part time and pays 30 quid a week board. And my son. He is claiming council tax as a single person and child benefit and tax credits for too children. Is this right. Surely if he has a working person he should pay full council tax and not be able to claim child benefit and council tax for him
G - 18-Mar-17 @ 11:40 AM
Ep - Your Question:
Me and my sons dad have been split 3 years always made it my sons choice were he wanted to sleep day to day I claim benefits for him and always have but has been in an argument with dad he is trying to stop my payments and claim he's self he's self employed nice house and cars NY son stays with him a few days and me a few days which ever he wants so if he tries claiming will they stop my money and has he got a right to do that after he pays no maintenance and helps me pay for school trips n bits of stuff I've offered him money for shopping for our son but sneakily gone behind my back trying to claim for our son don't have a clue what he's rights are any reply would b fan thanks

Our Response:
The simplest thing to do would be draw up an agreement for child arrangements. Usually the parent with primary/majority care can claim Child Benefit so you'd have to work out who has your son for the majority of time.
LawAndParents - 16-Mar-17 @ 2:29 PM
Me and my sons dad have been split 3 years always made it my sons choice were he wanted to sleep day to day I claim benefits for him and always have but has been in an argument with dad he is trying to stop my payments and claim he's self he's self employed nice house and cars NY son stays with him a few days and me a few days which ever he wants so if he tries claiming will they stop my money and has he got a right to do that after he pays no maintenance and helps me pay for school trips n bits of stuff I've offered him money for shopping for our son but sneakily gone behind my back trying to claim for our son don't have a clue what he's rights are any reply would b fan thanks
Ep - 16-Mar-17 @ 1:23 PM
coffee - Your Question:
2 weeks ago we took my step children they now live with myself and their father, I also have 3 children and we have also have a baby together.my step children have been neglected by their mother and social are involved.I've been able to sort out child benefit but child tax credits and dla/carers allowance (my step daughter has learning difficulties and mobility issues) won't allow me to sort out the claim unless their mother relinquishes the money to ourselves. she's is still claiming they live with her.I've been told we need proof but still haven't been assigned a social worker as we are technically already safeguarding the children. financially 6 children is a strain and she is using all the children's money on herself! I'm unable to afford things my step daughter needs for her care, its a difficult situation.but at least the children are now being cared for as they always should have been.any advice would be greatly received. thanks

Our Response:
Surely the social worker that allowed you to take over their welfare would be able to give this proof? If not you may need to apply to the courts for a residency order as proof. Usually if you're claiming child benefit, HMRC will accept this as proof that the children are living with you.
LawAndParents - 10-Mar-17 @ 11:51 AM
2 weeks ago we took my step children they now live with myself and their father, I also have 3 children and we have also have a baby together. my step children have been neglected by their mother and social are involved.. I've been able to sort out child benefit but child tax credits and dla/carers allowance (my step daughter has learning difficulties and mobility issues) won't allow me to sort out the claim unless their mother relinquishes the money to ourselves. she's is still claiming they live with her.. I've been told we need proof but still haven't been assigned a social worker as we are technically already safeguarding the children. financially 6 children is a strain and she is using all the children's money on herself! I'm unable to afford things my step daughter needs for her care, its a difficult situation. but at least the children are now being cared for as they always should have been. any advice would be greatly received. thanks
coffee - 9-Mar-17 @ 1:18 PM
I work full time and my wife also works full time and I have my 2 children 2 nights per week n this is 2 weekends out of 3 My question is Are there any benefits in entitled to do the nights I have them N yes I pay CSA every month with out fail
Andy - 8-Mar-17 @ 6:58 PM
I am considering moving in with my partner who has a disability, she receives benefits for this including child tax credits, however i work full time and earn £50000 a year, she doesnt want me to oay for her kids because shes very independant, will her child tax credits be affected even though im not the childrens father, and will my partner still receive her own income as sheis worried that she would lose her financial independance, therefor may effect our relationship,
Marky2017 - 7-Mar-17 @ 9:29 PM
I've been in reciept of child tax credits for my grandchildren they have been staying with me as my daughter had a c.section and has been quite ill.my daughter has been receiving child benefit for them and now tax credits have wrote to me to ask me for more info for my grandson as I'm not claiming child benefit what should I do I'm quite worried and the money I have recieved for my grandchildren has been used on them both .
Chelle - 7-Mar-17 @ 8:50 PM
Ellie - Your Question:
Over a year ago my partner decided not to send his child back to her mother due to her being incapable of looking after her properly. she has never bothered to try and regain residence. she has some contact when it suits her.she then told my partner all benefits were cancelled. he then got tax credits to help with nursery fees. As he has never had to claim before he didn't really know much with regards to benefits he didn't realised he had to apply for child benefit separately. now this is causing him problem gaining accommodation as for some reason council have said he needs child benefit. so he has now put in for this to be then told they are investigating as there is two claims. after attempt after attempt mother has never paid any maintenance but she works, has been claiming child benefit even though she doesn't provide or have the child. will they now put a stop to this and make her pay the money back?

Our Response:
If they can prove that your partner's child has been living with you, the mother will be made to re-pay fraudulently claimed child benefit. It might worth making the residency arrangement official through mediation or the courts.
LawAndParents - 6-Mar-17 @ 12:19 PM
niknak - Your Question:
My 16 year old twins after a part time jobs and they are both in full time education, if they get a job how will it affect my money eg child benefit and child tax. we pay full rent as partner works and council tax. they would be on minium wage. Can some one please help me as don't won't to get done.

Our Response:
If they're still in full time education, a part time job should not affect your child benefit or child tax credits.
LawAndParents - 6-Mar-17 @ 11:54 AM
My daughter left collage a few months ago but has started to do a private course at home that you have to pay monthly for, my ex husband pays for the course, can I still get my child tax credit because my child is still in training/education but is doing it at home on a private course.
Kell - 4-Mar-17 @ 9:32 PM
Lez - Your Question:
My daughter finishes college in July but then in September is starting uni, can I still claim child benefit & child tax credit? Also does my x-husband still pay maintenance?

Our Response:
No, once further education (i.e A levels or equivalent) is complete, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits are no longer payable. Maintenance is not payable at this stage either, unless you have a private agreement that says otherwise.
LawAndParents - 3-Mar-17 @ 2:22 PM
over a year ago my partner decided not to send his child back to her mother due to her being incapable of looking after her properly. she has never bothered to try and regain residence. she has some contact when it suits her. she then told my partner all benefits were cancelled. he then got tax credits to help with nursery fees. As he has never had to claim before he didn't really know much with regards to benefits he didn't realised he had to apply for child benefit separately. now this is causing him problem gaining accommodation as for some reason council have said he needs child benefit.so he has now put in for this to be then told they are investigating as there is two claims. after attempt after attempt mother has never paid any maintenancebut she works, has been claiming child benefit even though she doesn't provide or have the child. will they now put a stop to this and make her pay the money back?
Ellie - 3-Mar-17 @ 11:03 AM
my 16 year old twins after a part time jobs and they are both in full time education, if they get a job how will it affect my money eg child benefit and child tax. we pay full rent as partner works and council tax. they would be on minium wage. Can some one please help me as don't won't to get done.
niknak - 3-Mar-17 @ 10:23 AM
Anita - Your Question:
Hi, my ex husband was getting Child Benefit for our 2 daughters (4 and 7) to his bank account and he never sent the money to me for past 14 months. How to claim money from him? Is small claim court a good option? What legal action could be made to force him pay as it seems he has no will to transfer the money. Please advice

Our Response:
Who has majority residency for the children? Is there a maintenance order in place? Sorry there is not enough information for us to comment on here.
LawAndParents - 2-Mar-17 @ 2:27 PM
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