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: 23 Jul 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]
Hiya, my mum is claiming child benefits for me, although is saying I can only stay at my boyfriends house 3 times a week otherwise it will affect them. I am 17, and in full time education, is this right or not?
Gmc - 23-Jul-17 @ 1:41 PM
Hi. My 15 year old daughter has got herself a job. She is obviously still at school, and intends to stay on for a further 2 years. She will be working approx 11 hours per week. But maybe a little more during the summer holidays. Maybe earning £120 per week (at most, in the summer holidays). Will this affect my tax credits?? Many thanks
Steggo - 21-Jul-17 @ 12:09 AM
i have 2 daughters and have been receiving child benefit since they were born. last year i found out that the amount of child benifit i received was only for my oldest daughter. I have since been in contact with the agency but they have ignored my emails on three occasions. My youngest daughter is 8 now which means shehas lost a lot of benefit. i need to take this matter higher but the agency is ignoring me as they know the mistake is theirs. where can i go from here . thank you
jo - 17-Jul-17 @ 11:18 PM
The children have been placed in my care pending an investigation. I'm in court tomorrow to apply for an emergency residential order. As the investigation and court is liable to take anything from 8 to 10 weeks. Am I am to claim the child benefit
Epic Earl - 16-Jul-17 @ 8:51 AM
Hi my 18 year old is going to college in London in September,she will be staying with my sister,will I still be able to claim tax credits for her as we are in Wales? Thank you
Kelly - 13-Jul-17 @ 3:09 PM
i applied for child benefits when my son was born 8 years ago. then i moved abroad to pakistan. i have been receiving child benefits since then. i usually visit the uk during the year for a few weeks and month. i have a 6 year old daughter who was born there and is a british citizen but i have never applied for her child benefits. i have been back in uk now for 6 months and am a lone parent. can i get child benefit for her?
marie - 13-Jul-17 @ 12:51 PM
my ex partner claimed the child benefits for my 2 children for 2 years before i new i could have the child benefits in my name as the children lived with me full time my ex never paid any child maintenance for 2 years ethermy question is can i claim back any of the child benefits my ex claimed ?
gunner - 11-Jul-17 @ 6:27 PM
Hi if my partner has 3 kids to someone and I have my first child with her can I claim ?
Ad - 11-Jul-17 @ 2:54 PM
Hi, I would really welcome some advice with regard to child benefit and child tax credit. I have an 18 year old who is currently not living with me but whom I financially support. I rang up the relevant agencies within a month of her not being at home to notify of the change in circumstances. I was advised that even though she was staying else where I could continue to claim for her as long as I was still supporting her, which I still am. Recently I got a call from the child benefit shency advising me a rival claim had been submitted and if I was willing to surrender my claim I said no and provided the reasons why, I have chased the decision on a regular basis and have been advised that they would hope the claim would remain with myself. I asked when I got the call what I would need to do with regard to child tax credit and was told that they would maybe leave the claim running until a decision was made, or suspend but I was definitely not doing anything wrong at all. I had originally got clarification that child tax credit would be paid as long as child benefit was in payment , hence my question when they suspended the claim when a rival claim was submitted. So I've assumed for several months now that that advice was correct. While the decision with regard to child benefit is being made I've put a sum of money to one side should there be any incorrect short term overpayment. Anyway today after longer than I was advised I've pushed the issue of child tax credit with child benefit and they've put me through reassuring me st the very worst an overpayment would only be from the date child benefit stopped. Well apparently that is incorrect, child tax credit are now saying child tax credit is only payable of a child is living with you and has nothing to do with if child benefit is being paid to you. And now despite me ringing in I am now liable for an overpayment from the date she stayed away, not the date I rang in with regard to a change of circumstances or when I've checked at renewal. Is this correct and can they do this? If not what do I do? Thanks.
Sassy - 10-Jul-17 @ 3:49 PM
Chelle - Your Question:
My son has just done his gcse he will be staying on for 6th form but has got himself full time work for school holidays he will be earning about £250 a week. Does this effect my child tax credits and working tax credits as I only work 16 hrs a week

Our Response:
Probably not, if you're still able to claim Child benefit, you can continue to claim child tax credits.
LawAndParents - 7-Jul-17 @ 12:28 PM
Hi my son is 16 and i will start college in september he has a part time job does this affect my child benefit? Thankyou
Livvy - 7-Jul-17 @ 11:14 AM
I am seperated from my daughters mum. I have my daughter one night short of half the week. She claims child tax and working tax and still expects me to pay maintance each month. Which i do to save hassle and been slagged off. I became self employed to beable to have my daughter half the week. The ex earns double my wage. But is still getting full benefits for our daughter. Should i not be entiltled to half of the benefits she gets
Dave89 - 6-Jul-17 @ 10:23 PM
My son has just done his gcse he will be staying on for 6th form but has got himself full time work for school holidays he will be earning about £250 a week.Does this effect my child tax credits and working tax credits as I only work 16 hrs a week
Chelle - 6-Jul-17 @ 4:25 PM
Slowpokes - Your Question:
My daughter is 17 she is in full time college but has got a little part time job will this effect my tax credits I get for her I'm a single mum doing 16 hours a week work

Our Response:
It shouldn't affect your tax credits if she is still classed as in full time education.
LawAndParents - 4-Jul-17 @ 11:11 AM
Ella - Your Question:
Hi there. My daughter is 17 years old and she is in full time education. She is working part time ar the salon for 16 hours every weekend I currently include her as a dependant child on my universal tax credits and get child tax credits for her. This month she's worked some extra days for some extra money which makes it 24 hours a week. Will this impact my claim. Many thanks

Our Response:
As long as she in full time education, her part time work should not affect your Child Tax credits or Child benefit.
LawAndParents - 3-Jul-17 @ 12:29 PM
My daughter is 17 she is in full time college but has got a little part time job will this effect my tax credits I get for her I'm a single mum doing 16 hours a week work
Slowpokes - 3-Jul-17 @ 10:42 AM
Hi there . My daughter is 17 years old and she is in full time education. She is working part time ar the salon for 16 hours every weekend I currently include her as a dependant child on my universal tax credits and get child tax credits for her. This month she's worked some extra days for some extra money which makes it 24 hours a week. Will this impact my claim . Many thanks
Ella - 1-Jul-17 @ 7:13 PM
marz - Your Question:
I have recently moved back from living abroad and going through a separation with my husband. I get child benefit for my first born but I have never applied for my second born. she was born abroad has a British birth certificate and passport. she is five now can I apply for child benefit for her? both my kids are living with me now.

Our Response:
Yes you should be able to claim for the second child as well. Here is the contact information for the Child Benefit Office
LawAndParents - 30-Jun-17 @ 2:12 PM
Sam - Your Question:
Hi my son is 17 years old and attends full time education at a college. He is wanting to get a part time job working at a DIY store on 14 hours per week (Saturday and Sunday)I currently include him as a dependant child on my universal tax credits and get child tax credits for him.Will this impact my claim - I can see under dependants it states that the child must be in full time education, which he is, however it doesn't mention anything about if he works on a weekend.Could you help?ThanksSam

Our Response:
No as long as he is classed as "in full time education" (12 hours or more) then your tax credits should not be affected by his part time job.
LawAndParents - 30-Jun-17 @ 1:49 PM
I have recently moved back from living abroad and going through a separation with my husband. i get child benefit for my first born but i have never applied for my second born. she was born abroad has a British birth certificate and passport. she is five now can i apply for child benefit for her? both my kids are living with me now.
marz - 30-Jun-17 @ 1:44 PM
Merry - Your Question:
My sons girlfriend just turned 18 they want her to live with us and she will be continuing college in september am I able to claim child benefit and child tax credits for her I could with my son but as she is not my child im unsure how it works

Our Response:
Yes but you will need to contact the person who's currently claiming child benefit for her as only one person can get Child Benefit for a child.The person who is currently claiming (we'll assume it's her mother) must contact the Child Benefit Office and explain that she wants you to ge thet Child Benefit instead. Then you must make a new claim.
LawAndParents - 30-Jun-17 @ 12:42 PM
Hi my son is 17 years old and attends full time education at a college. He is wanting to get a part time job working at a DIY store on 14 hours per week (Saturday and Sunday) I currently include him as a dependant child on my universal tax credits and get child tax credits for him. Will this impact my claim - I can see under dependants it states that the child must be in full time education, which he is, however it doesn't mention anything about if he works on a weekend. Could you help? Thanks Sam
Sam - 29-Jun-17 @ 8:37 PM
My sons girlfriend just turned 18 they want her to live with us and she will be continuing college in september am i able to claim child benefit and child tax credits for her i could with my son but as she is not my child im unsure how it works
Merry - 29-Jun-17 @ 4:19 PM
Lee - Your Question:
My girlfriend is 17 and pregnant we are expecting the baby before her 18 birthday but we have been advise if she does not do full time education until she is 18 we are not intilted toClaim any benefits for the kid. Just wanted to know wear I stood with this.

Our Response:
Whether you get income support depends on where you're living, whether you're working and who you live with etc. Income support might be payable, also Child Benefit, plus if you, as the father work, you will be expected to pay maintenance. Ask at Citizens' Advice - they will be able to tell you what can be claimed.
LawAndParents - 29-Jun-17 @ 11:06 AM
Garry - Your Question:
Hi I have four sons which 2 have been living with me for 6months my ex clams for then can I put a clam in ect,she hasn't given me nothing towards there up keep in have to take a loan but things are getting very hard now.

Our Response:
If the sons are living with you, you should be able to claim their Child Benefit and (if relevant) Child Tax Credits.
LawAndParents - 28-Jun-17 @ 12:41 PM
my girlfriend is 17 and pregnant we are expecting the baby before her 18 birthday but we have been advise if she does not do full time education until she is 18 we are not intilted to Claim any benefits for the kid. Just wanted to know wear I stood with this.
Lee - 27-Jun-17 @ 8:21 PM
Suzana Santos - Your Question:
Hello!, I'm 17 I am about to claim for child benefit but I would like to know if I can receive my money direct to my account instead of being my mom to receive it.If I get a job i'll to still get a child benefit?

Our Response:
No, child benefit is only paid to the parent and child benefit cannot be claimed for a child who is not in full time education (12 hours or more per week).
LawAndParents - 27-Jun-17 @ 11:08 AM
Hi I have four sons which 2 have been living with me for 6months my ex clams for then can i put a clam in ect,she hasn't given me nothing towards there up keep in have to take a loan but things are getting very hard now.
Garry - 27-Jun-17 @ 9:52 AM
Lips - Your Question:
My boyfriend has been the primary caregiver up till November of last year 2016 of his son, so he has been getting family allownce every 3 month but just resently in the pass 2 maybe 3 months there's court papers say his ex is now the primary care giver but he still receives it and she's saying she gonna report him and tell them that he's frauding them can she do this?

Our Response:
Whoever is the primary care giver can claim the Child Benefit. If the mother is now the primary care giver she can claim the child benefit and your boyfriend (the child's father) should relinquish his claim.
LawAndParents - 26-Jun-17 @ 2:23 PM
Hello!, I'm 17 i am about to claim for child benefit but i would like to know if I can receive my money direct to my account instead of being my mom to receive it. If i get a job i'll to still get a child benefit?
Suzana Santos - 24-Jun-17 @ 8:01 PM
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