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: 17 Nov 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]
Hi my daughter is 18 and is in full time education she works 14 hours per week and gets paid £107 per week does this affect any child benefits or child tax credit or any benefits at all ?
Tas - 17-Nov-17 @ 12:47 PM
I have 3 children. Two from previous marriage. One just born from new relationship. I claim child benefit for my two eldest age 17 and 14. My eldest is moving in with her dad so I will be cancelling her child benefit. Can I claim for my newborn with new partner?
Ferg - 15-Nov-17 @ 6:30 AM
Joanne- Your Question:
Hi my 17 yr old is in full time education but works 25 hours a WK can I still claim child tax and child benefit. I work 30+ a WK and low income am entitled to working tax thanks

Our Response:
You should still be able to claim CTC and CHB. If you're unsure you can contact HMRC.
LawAndParents - 14-Nov-17 @ 12:27 PM
Hi my 17 yr old is in full time education but works 25 hours a WK can I still claim child tax and child benefit. I work 30+ a WK and low income am entitled to working tax thanks
Joanne - 12-Nov-17 @ 9:33 PM
Sam - Your Question:
Hi my daughter is 18 and was in full time education. unfortunatly do to time off they have k8cked her off her course. she now wants to do part time education. if she does will I still get tax credits. csa and child benefit?

Our Response:
This depends on the number of hours she does in further education and what level it is. It's unlikely you'd be able to claim the age of 19. Contact DWP and HMRC about this.
LawAndParents - 10-Nov-17 @ 2:32 PM
Hi my daughter is 18 and was in full time education.. unfortunatly do to time off they have k8cked her off her course.. she now wants to do part time education.. if she does will i still get tax credits.. csa and child benefit?
Sam - 8-Nov-17 @ 6:05 PM
Usual - Your Question:
My daughter is staying at school to resit her 2nd year of A levels will Tax credits and child allowance stop ? She will be 19.

Our Response:
If she was accepted on to the course before she was 19 then child benefit may carry on but you should contact the DWP for confirmation.
LawAndParents - 8-Nov-17 @ 1:00 PM
My daughter is staying at school to resit her 2nd year of A levels will Tax credits and child allowance stop ? She will be 19.
Usual - 7-Nov-17 @ 2:43 PM
Debsbee - Your Question:
My daughter is 18 and in full time education. She's just started working in her spare time in a care home. Am I still entitled to receive my tax credits& child benefit.

Our Response:
If your daughter is full time education at no higher than A level standard, a part time job should not affect your CTC or CHB.
LawAndParents - 7-Nov-17 @ 12:24 PM
Anz - Your Question:
If my child is not living with me but I pay for the child's upkeep e.g. rent, bills, food, etc can I claim for Child Tax Credits?

Our Response:
Usually the parent with majority care (and who claims Child Benefit) is the one who can claim the Child Tax Credit. You and the other parent can sometimes agree between you if the other person wants to claim.Discuss with each other and contact HMRC.
LawAndParents - 7-Nov-17 @ 12:08 PM
Penpen - Your Question:
Hello my son is 18 and in full time education and his thinking of getting a part time job about 16 hours but he will only get about £49 a week will I still get my benifit like child benefit and tax credits will it stay the same , thanks

Our Response:
If your son is in full time education, your child benefit and tax credits should not be afffected.
LawAndParents - 6-Nov-17 @ 11:07 AM
Hello my son is 18 and in full time education and his thinking of getting a part time job about 16 hours but he will only get about £49 a week will I still get my benifit like child benefitand tax credits will it stay the same , thanks
Penpen - 4-Nov-17 @ 12:04 AM
Bec - Your Question:
My 16 year old daughter has stayed on in school in 6th form. She wants a part time jib. If she gets one can I still claim tax credits and maintenance from her fathet

Our Response:
As long as your daughter remains in full time education (12 hours or more per week) at no higher than A level standard, a part time job should not affect your child tax credits and the father should continue to pay maintenance.
LawAndParents - 3-Nov-17 @ 2:07 PM
My 16 year old daughter has stayed on in school in 6th form. She wants a part time jib. If she gets one can I still claim tax credits and maintenance from her fathet
Bec - 2-Nov-17 @ 8:13 PM
My daughter is 18 and in full time education. She's just started working in her spare time in a care home. Am I still entitled to receive my tax credits& child benefit.
Debsbee - 1-Nov-17 @ 3:18 PM
If my child is not living with me but I pay for the child's upkeep e.g. rent, bills, food, etc can I claim for Child Tax Credits?
Anz - 1-Nov-17 @ 1:25 PM
Dot - Your Question:
Hi. I have my 2 small children 3 times a week. Am I able to claim child tax credits?

Our Response:
Is the other parent claiming child tax credits already? If so, you won't be able to claim as well.
LawAndParents - 1-Nov-17 @ 9:51 AM
Hi. I have my 2 small children 3 times a week. Am I able to claim child tax credits?
Dot - 29-Oct-17 @ 9:46 AM
I've recently been to court and been granted shared access to my daughter I have her 4 days her mother has her 3 days who is entitled to claim for this child I think I am? Because I have her more days?
Benja22 - 25-Oct-17 @ 10:36 AM
Hi my daughter wants to start works but she doesn't know how many hours she can work before it will affect my child tax credit
Courts3 - 23-Oct-17 @ 12:42 PM
My daughter is 17 and has moved to student accommodation but still comes home at weekends she gets sass and a nursery so does child benefit stop?
Chris - 18-Oct-17 @ 9:40 PM
hi my son stays with us 4-5 nights a week but in the past 3 weeks he has stayed at his mums twice. She gets all of his money and doesn't buy him things that he needs. In three weeks she's given him 10 pound. I have 3 other children to my current partner and my son has told us he wants to live with us which we are more than happy with but how would I go about claiming child benefits and tax credits for him? I know his mum won't just hand it over but he doesn't live with her and she doesn't buy anything that he needs. There is no nice way of putting it but she is only bothered about the money and I've always just let her have it to keep the peace but since my son has been staying at ours more we are really struggling financially and he's just started high school which cost me and my partner a fortune buying his new uniform. I would appreciate any advice as to how I do this as surely what she is doing would be classed as fraud? I wouldn't mind her claiming the money if she actually contributed to the things that he needs
sph - 16-Oct-17 @ 1:02 PM
Need some advice I'm a single mum to a 18 yr old and a 1 yr old .18 yr old at college and I'm unemployed .daughter not enjoying college and wants to work .what help would I get if myself and my daughter worked part time and shared childcare of my 1 yr old .I'm on income support at mo .and would love to earn my own pennies
Sandy Bartrop - 15-Oct-17 @ 8:30 PM
Jamiemob - Your Question:
Hi I’m divorced and my ex wife signed over one child to me ( he lives with me full time ) my other son 12yold has moved in a month ago and hasn’t gone home to his mothers house to sleep at all.It’s it right that she doesn’t need him to live with her and be able to claim tax credits for him. I’m confused at how it all works. tia

Our Response:
If you are the majority carer, the mother should not be able to claim tax credits.
LawAndParents - 13-Oct-17 @ 3:15 PM
Hi I’m divorced and my ex wife signed over one child to me ( he lives with me full time ) my other son 12yold has moved in a month ago and hasn’t gone home to his mothers house to sleep at all. It’s it right that she doesn’t need him to live with her and be able to claim tax credits for him. I’m confused at how it all works. tia
Jamiemob - 13-Oct-17 @ 12:11 AM
Hi my son is 17 and in full time college I claim child tax credits for him but he ants a part time job how much can he earn before it will affect my benefits
Tpom - 11-Oct-17 @ 2:23 PM
My daughter is 16 and pregnant she is now 9months due very soon but she does not attend college or an apprentiship they have cut my child's benifets what am I entitled to and what rights does she have to claim benifets? As she cannot attend college because of this reason.
Azmina21 - 11-Oct-17 @ 2:31 AM
My 16 year old son is unable to do full time further education at college due to medical issues.He will have tutors come in to teach him at home.To start with he will have 3 hours per week.Child benefit have said as it's not 12 hours unable to claim child benefit.Would I be entitled to claim for another 6 months as he unable to attend mainstream college?Thanks.
Minnie - 6-Oct-17 @ 11:20 AM
Emily Foden - Your Question:
Hi I have a daughter as was wondering if I moved in with my partner who is not her father and we have a baby does he become responsible for my daughter ? Can I claim anything as she is mine to help out or will he have to pay everything if I do not work thanks

Our Response:
No, he is only responsibly his own child if you split up. You can claim child benefit and possibly Child Tax Credit for each child.
LawAndParents - 4-Oct-17 @ 3:48 PM
Veronika - Your Question:
Hi anybody can give me advise.I have daughter and I used to get for her childbenefit for 14 years.She has moved 4 months a go to live woth her father as I dont live with her father since my daughter born.Now my daugher decided that she move back to live with me.While she was with father ( 4 months) I stop child benefit now I not sure what to do if she back with me.Shall just phone to child benefit or I have to fill new child benefit form?

Our Response:
You can phone them for information. They will probably make you complete a form as well though.
LawAndParents - 2-Oct-17 @ 2:53 PM
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