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: 26 Apr 2018 |
 
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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I have recently had my niece placed into my care she has been with me for 2 months now turning 16 in my care. she is due to sit here exams at her old school very soon and I am looking into college. An arrangement was in place between me and her mum for money each week. I have only ever received 1 payment of her no other money coming in! I have 2 young children of my own and need to know what I can claim for her as social services say I should be entitled to something. Could you help find out what I can claim.
Sarah - 26-Apr-18 @ 5:49 PM
My son spends more time with me the father, and when I'm at work he spends his time at his nans house, yet his mother claims our sons benifits but our son does not live with her
Andy - 26-Apr-18 @ 8:26 AM
Sorry i meant Will i be able to claim my sons child benefit?
smudge - 25-Apr-18 @ 3:57 PM
My 9yr old son is now living with me permanently! And has been for the past 5wks and will continue to do so. Am i his father able to apply for his child maintenance?
smudge - 25-Apr-18 @ 3:41 PM
Hi I have been seperated from my x of 8 yeaes for a year now and was having my 2 kids weekends the last few months ive met a new partner thinfs have been sour she doesent let me see my kids says because i have ptsd im not a stable father claims i dont deserve them because i dont pay for them which is untrue i gave her £6000 just before christmas and £30 per week since up until last month when i was layed off she receives child benefit n tax credita also which i doubt she mentioned that to them is there anything i can do please
James - 22-Apr-18 @ 1:41 PM
Hi there .. my x didn’t put me on my child’s birth certificate. Now those that mean she is receiving money from the government for him?? Also I still put 200£ in a month under the reference for my son.. would she get in trouble if I continue to do this?
Joey - 21-Apr-18 @ 6:58 PM
Hello I’m due to deliver soon an I was wondering if I would be untitled to claim for tax creadits. I’m going to be a single Mum but I live with my sister. Would that affect my claim?
Tash - 21-Apr-18 @ 5:47 PM
Lauren - Your Question:
Hi I’m 14 years old and was wondering if instead of my mother receiving the child tax be if it if it could be automatically into my savings account so I can save it for the future.

Our Response:
No unfortunately Child Benefit can only be paid directly to the claimant (your mother). It is really designed to help with essentials that contribute to your health, wellbeing etc (food, clothes, warmth, essential transport and so on). If your mum doesn't think it's needed for those things, could you ask her to transfer it to your bank account each month? (She even could do this by setting up a standing order to you)
LawAndParents - 20-Apr-18 @ 3:23 PM
niceone - Your Question:
After divorce my ex and I agreed things verbally.is there any reason why one of us cannot claim child benefit and child tax credits and send to the other?

Our Response:
Child Benefit and tax credits are only payable to the parent with majority care. It wouldn't really make sense for one parent to claim and pass to the other?
LawAndParents - 20-Apr-18 @ 2:41 PM
I'm having my first child but the mother of my child already has 2 children.Will I be able to get child benifits and working tax credits for my child. We are sharing the care of the child between us
Andy - 20-Apr-18 @ 11:54 AM
My ex partner watches owed kids over night 3 nights a week to let me work I have 4nights. Is he entitled to tax credits
Aj - 19-Apr-18 @ 9:19 AM
Hi I’m 14 years old and was wondering if instead of my mother receiving the child tax be if it if it could be automatically into my savings account so I can save it for the future.
Lauren - 18-Apr-18 @ 6:15 PM
after divorce my ex and i agreed things verbally..is there any reason why one of us cannot claim child benefit and child tax credits and send to the other?
niceone - 18-Apr-18 @ 12:19 PM
Ang- Your Question:
Hi my son is 18 and in ft education if he gets a part time job do I need to let working tax credits no ? Many thanks

Our Response:
You should let HMRC know about this change in circumstances, but your son's part time job while he's in full time education, is unlikely to affect your tax credits.
LawAndParents - 17-Apr-18 @ 12:00 PM
Hi my son is 18 and in ft education if he gets a part time job do I need to let working tax credits no ? Many thanks
Ang - 16-Apr-18 @ 2:55 PM
Katielou - Your Question:
Hi, I am a working (20 hours a week) single mum to 3 teenagers, in February due to slot of changes, new job new house my eldest leaving education etc, I renewed my tax credits, it then came back as I had been paid too much for the year already and they just stopped! I was informed I couldn’t get anything now untill the 6th of April! As of now (the 12th of April) I still haven’t had anything, despite ringing everyday, apparently my claim is still under suspension and no one seems to know why! I have given all the information needed, and one day I get told one thing and the next another! I have been told several times the suspension has been lifted, to be told the next day it hasn’t! I have been without any tax credits since the 6th of feb, I’ve had to borrow to survive! Are they allowed to do this? Just cut my money off when I have children to feed? Thanks.

Our Response:
Send a letter to complain. If your tax credits are suspended, you should be told why and not be receiving different responses depending on who you talk to. Write to:
Complaints
HM Revenue and Customs
Tax Credit Office
BX9 1ER
United Kingdom
And remember to keep a copy
LawAndParents - 13-Apr-18 @ 3:05 PM
Manders - Your Question:
My child tax credit stopped in Aug 2016 when my child was due to leave school. She went on for a levels and I informed HMRC and they continued my family allowance but stopped my child tax credits. I assumed they were still paying me it and lumping it all together with other benefits so I didn't notice. I continued to renew online still thinking I was being paid but it has come to light after I resisted my must recent tax credit awards for her financial assistance forms for university that my claim had stopped so my renewals online were invalid. I did inform them that she was in further education as my family allowance continued. There was other changes in our circumstances at that time which led to me not noticing it had stopped and thinking it was now being jointly paid with other new benefits my partner and I were claiming due to illness. Can I be reimbursed all the payments I was entitled too but didn't know I wasn't getting

Our Response:
We can't really help. Have you asked HMRC about this? Here is information about tax credits and backdated claims which might help.
LawAndParents - 13-Apr-18 @ 2:38 PM
Hi, I am a working (20 hours a week) single mum to 3 teenagers, in February due to slot of changes, new job new house my eldest leaving education etc, I renewed my tax credits, it then came back as I had been paid too much for the year already and they just stopped! I was informed I couldn’t get anything now untill the 6th of April! As of now (the 12th of April) I still haven’t had anything, despite ringing everyday, apparently my claim is still under suspension and no one seems to know why! I have given all the information needed, and one day I get told one thing and the next another! I have been told several times the suspension has been lifted, to be told the next day it hasn’t! I have been without any tax credits since the 6th of feb, I’ve had to borrow to survive! Are they allowed to do this? Just cut my money off when I have children to feed? Thanks.
Katielou - 12-Apr-18 @ 5:21 AM
My child tax credit stopped in Aug 2016 when my child was due to leave school. She went on for a levels and I informed HMRC and they continued my family allowance but stopped my child tax credits. I assumed they were still paying me it and lumping it all together with other benefits so I didn't notice. I continued to renew online still thinking I was being paid but it has come to light after I resisted my must recent tax credit awards for her financial assistance forms for university that my claim had stopped so my renewals online were invalid. I did inform them that she was in further education as my family allowance continued. There was other changes in our circumstances at that time which led to me not noticing it had stopped and thinking it was now being jointly paidwith other new benefits my partner and I were claiming due to illness.Can i be reimbursed all the payments I was entitled too but didn't know I wasn't getting
Manders - 12-Apr-18 @ 3:40 AM
Raz - Your Question:
Hello I am trying to help a friend with information as we are confused what will benefits changing all the time. She has 2 children one is 11 and one is 13 she gets CB & CTC for them both. She is pregnant and not sure if she can claim for the 3rd child for CB & CTC as keep seeing things on the internet about 3rd child benefit scrapped. Baby is due in September and she is a single Mum. Thanks

Our Response:
Under the new rules your friend will not be able to claim child tax credits for the third child. She will be able to claim Child Benefit for the third child.
LawAndParents - 11-Apr-18 @ 3:46 PM
Sugar - Your Question:
Our 17yr old daughter left 6th form college in December due to severe anxiety and depression. She is at home and unable to work due to her illness and we have been told child benefit and CTC is stopping soon. We are on low income and my partner gets little wtc. Are there any benefits we can claim?

Our Response:
We aren't aware of any benefits that you can claim. Your daughter might be able to claim something if she is medically diagnosed.The Turn 2 Us benefits calculator might be of use.
LawAndParents - 11-Apr-18 @ 1:00 PM
Our 17yr old daughter left 6th form college in December due to severe anxiety and depression. She is at home and unable to work due to her illness and we have been told child benefit and CTC is stopping soon. We are on low income and my partner gets little wtc. Are there any benefits we can claim?
Sugar - 10-Apr-18 @ 5:40 PM
A - Your Question:
My children live 50/50 between myself and my ex husband. My ex wants to have the child benefit transferred to him in future, if I agree to this, will there be any implication for him being able to claim child maintenance from me in future. Thank you!

Our Response:
Contact the CMS and ask them. Generally the person claiming the Child Benefit has the stronger case for maintenance but it doesn't always follow.
LawAndParents - 10-Apr-18 @ 2:11 PM
My children live 50/50 between myself and my ex husband. My ex wants to have the child benefit transferred to him in future, if I agree to this, will there be any implication for him being able to claim child maintenance from me in future. Thank you!
A - 9-Apr-18 @ 7:29 PM
N/A - Your Question:
Is it possible to backdate my child benefit because I was sick since June 2017. I have not been receiving child benefit and just call the child benefit office to pay my Children child benefit from June 2017 to April 2018.

Our Response:
Child benefit can usually be backdated for up to 3 months. If you're unsure, call the Child Benefit helpline: 0300 200 3100
LawAndParents - 9-Apr-18 @ 10:52 AM
Is it possible to backdate my child benefit because I was sick since June 2017. I have not been receiving child benefit and just call the child benefit office to pay my Children child benefit from June 2017 to April 2018.
N/A - 6-Apr-18 @ 5:18 PM
My son stay with hisdad monday to Thursdayand is with me Fridayto Sunday and half of Monday can still get child benefitand child tax for him.There is no paper threw socialwork involvednot extalyhappy with there agreement.can take court over this also ? Also in one get everything he needslike clothes etc as dad can't tell the differentbetween pj top and t shirtand clothes size.
Hypie - 4-Apr-18 @ 6:07 PM
Hello I am trying to help a friend with information as we are confused what will benefits changing all the time. She has 2 children one is 11 and one is 13 she gets CB & CTC for them both. She is pregnant and not sure if she can claim for the 3rd child for CB & CTC as keep seeing things on the internet about 3rd child benefit scrapped. Baby is due in September and she is a single Mum. Thanks
Raz - 4-Apr-18 @ 1:12 PM
Sonic - Your Question:
Hi my son has been staying with me since january.and his mum still gets his child benefit.ive tried to claim for him but was told I need a confirmation letter from social work. They have refused to give me one and told me to send my son back to his mum but he doesnt want to go.what can I do.

Our Response:
You could apply for a child arrangements order from the courts. Why are social services involved? Is there a reason that Child Benefit want confirmation from theM? Sorry there isn't really enough information here.
LawAndParents - 3-Apr-18 @ 10:08 AM
Hi my son has been staying with me since january.and his mum still gets his child benefit.ive tried to claim for him but was told i need a confirmation letter from social work. They have refused to give me one and told me to send my son back to his mum but he doesnt want to go.what can i do.
Sonic - 30-Mar-18 @ 1:06 AM
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