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 Feb 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 Dad is thinking of giving me and my sister a flat each. I claim child and working tax credits but will the flat make any difference to my claim as it's property not cash? The flats are worth around £100000 each. All the information around is confusing with regard to living 7 years after not to pay Inheritance tax but does it count if done this way. Even the solicitor is clueless! Please help, we're all so confused!
potch - 23-Feb-17 @ 6:58 PM
trish - Your Question:
My husband used to claims tax credit and child benefit for our 2 two kids. we not living together anymore so he stopped claiming now and he is working now. can I get the kids uncle/auntie to claim it because am not allowed to claim it.

Our Response:
No, the person who has care of the children (and claims the Child Benefit) is the only one who can claim child tax credits
LawAndParents - 22-Feb-17 @ 2:30 PM
Starbuck - Your Question:
My son is 18 and attends building college. Is my husband still required to pay maintainence as my son is an adult now.

Our Response:
If your son is still in further education (i.e is course is at A' level or equivalent) then your husband may be responsible until the end of the course or when he reaches 19/20 whichever occurs first.
LawAndParents - 22-Feb-17 @ 11:35 AM
How can I prove that I am the main career for my child. My daughter lives with me but her father ( we are not together) has been receiving her child tax credits and child benefit. I am currently in dispute with HM because they said only one person can receive it. I am at the stage of going to Tribunal. Please I need help.
Dee - 21-Feb-17 @ 4:38 PM
Hi i am hoping i can get some advice. I am looking at applying for child tax credits. Me and my partner earn approx 29,000 per year jointly and pay £100 a week childcare costs. We have 1 child between us and he has 2 other children under 16 who we have a lot of the time, approx 2-3 nights per week and most holidays, can we include them in our application? He pays their mum £240+ a month in maintanance also (this is a private arrangement not CSA)??
Amywakes - 20-Feb-17 @ 8:57 PM
My son is 18 and attends building college. Is my husband still requiredtopay maintainence as my son is an adult now .
Starbuck - 19-Feb-17 @ 9:41 AM
my husband used to claims tax credit and child benefit for our 2 two kids. we not living together anymore so he stopped claiming now and he is working now. can i get the kids uncle/auntie to claim it because am not allowed to claim it.
trish - 18-Feb-17 @ 2:21 PM
Hi I'm pregnant wif my 3rd child and I'm due on 14 September will I still get child tax credits
Gemz - 18-Feb-17 @ 1:21 PM
Bex - Your Question:
My daughter is 16 and has applied for college full time for b tec level 3 in York. She wants to stay on campus 3 nights a week but come home for 4 nights. Will I still be able to receive tax credit for her and if so will the amount be affected by this.

Our Response:
You might need to ask HMRC about this. We think you may be able to continue claiming but can't be 100% sure.
LawAndParents - 16-Feb-17 @ 12:28 PM
Angela - Your Question:
I have just finally today, been told I am going to get the CTC that the HMRC stopped in Aug 2015 until Oct 2016. 14 Months woth in 2 payments. I tried so many times to send them all the information the needed, called them more times than my own family, but never got anywhere, even sending the post recorded delivery to be signed for they still said they never got it, even though I had proof. I ended up trying to take my own life 3 times, as I just couldn't take anymore and I have got myself in to so much debt with doorstep loan companies, it all felt like it was spiraling out of control and I wasn't getting anywhere and getting no help from HMRC. I was getting debt collection letters from companies on behalf of HMRC and when I called them they were so pushy in making start repayments for money I hadn't even received. Is it right that they can just put me through all of that distress, emotional and financial then all this time later be like ' oh there you go, sorry about that, here is the money we owe you' but not take any responsibility for anything? No compensation or apology, or anything, they said that they hadn't done anything wrong? Am I just expecting too much from them? An apology?

Our Response:
It is certainly an awful thing to have to deal with and there should be more measures in place to prevent this happening. There is a range of things you can do to make HMRC aware of your complaint here. You could try contacting Tax Aid for advice as well.
LawAndParents - 16-Feb-17 @ 11:53 AM
My daughter is 16 and has applied for college full time for b tec level 3 in York. She wants to stay on campus 3 nights a week but come home for 4 nights. Will I still be able to receive tax credit for her and if so will the amount be affected by this.
Bex - 15-Feb-17 @ 8:42 PM
I have just finally today, been told I am going to get the CTC that the HMRC stopped in Aug 2015 until Oct 2016... 14 Months woth in 2 payments. I tried so many times to send them all the information the needed, called them more times than my own family, but never got anywhere, even sending the post recorded delivery to be signed for they still said they never got it, even though I had proof. I ended up trying to take my own life 3 times, as I just couldn't take anymore and I have got myself in to so much debt with doorstep loan companies, it all felt like it was spiraling out of control and I wasn't getting anywhere and getting no help from HMRC. I was getting debt collection letters from companies on behalf of HMRC and when I called them they were so pushy in making start repayments for money I hadn't even received. Is it right that they can just put me through all of that distress, emotional and financial then all this time later be like ' oh there you go, sorry about that, here is the money we owe you' but not take any responsibility for anything? No compensation or apology, or anything, they said that they hadn't done anything wrong? Am I just expecting too much from them? An apology?
Angela - 15-Feb-17 @ 4:06 PM
Amz89 - Your Question:
My 8 year old daughter lives with her farther because he gets her tax credits and child ben is there anything stopping her from living with me. As that's what she wants.

Our Response:
If you and her father can agree between you, there is nothing to stop you from changing the arrangements. Note that if your daughter lives with you for the majority of the time, you become the main carer and the father will not be able to continue claiming the child benefit and tax credits.
LawAndParents - 14-Feb-17 @ 10:56 AM
My 8 year old daughter lives with her farther because he gets her tax credits and child ben is there anything stopping her from living with me. As that's what she wants.
Amz89 - 12-Feb-17 @ 10:34 PM
I have a daughter 6months old who lives with her dad can I claim tax credits to contribute the up keep of luci
Amy - 11-Feb-17 @ 1:36 PM
My child is 20 in November but till has another year after that in full time education can I still claim child tax credit I'm on a low income on benifits
Bernie - 11-Feb-17 @ 11:12 AM
I'm 16 years old an my mother claims child benifet and tax credits , I'm having a problem where I'm left with no money because my mum said I have to go to school in order to get my £20 a week I've not had money for a good month even though I've been to school is the money that she gets for me to have for myself to spend on myself or is she allowed to keep a percentage of it ? Because at the moment I'm left with no money all the time even when I'm going to school. Does not staying at home have anything to do with the factshe shouldn't give me money , I live at my boyfriends practically and he gets me everything I need and all I need to find out is is the money she gets is it for me to have or her to control what she does with it ?
Kodie - 10-Feb-17 @ 5:03 PM
Rammie - Your Question:
My son is 17 and in full time education. I get child benefit & child tax credits. He has had an interview for a part time job, my question is do I need to declare it?? how much can he earn before it affects my benefit?

Our Response:
No, if he's in full time education his part time job should not affect your tax credits. It's worth declaring it for the records though.
LawAndParents - 10-Feb-17 @ 12:54 PM
My 18 year old son starts Army training for 14 weeks very soon. I get Child Benifit & Tax Credits will these stop altogether then ??
Twirly - 9-Feb-17 @ 2:14 PM
My son is 17 and in full time education. I get child benefit & child tax credits. He has had an interview for a part time job, my question is do I need to declare it?? how much can he earn before it affects my benefit?
Rammie - 8-Feb-17 @ 4:36 PM
My daughter lives with her mother (myself) and my personal circumstances are such that i am no longer eligible for tax credits - can the father then instead claim the child tax credit even though the child does not live with him? By that I mean, is it allowed for him to do so?
wonkypigeon - 5-Feb-17 @ 9:17 PM
I have a son in full time education & turns 18 at the end of the month. I claim child benefit & tax credits for him. He as an interview for a part time job do i need to declare & how much is he allowed to earn before it affects my benefit?
Jenny - 5-Feb-17 @ 9:18 AM
My son turns 18 at the end of the month & his in full time education. I get child benefit & child tax credits. He has an interview for a part time job, my question is do I need to declare it?? how much can he earn before it affects my benefit?
jenny - 5-Feb-17 @ 9:14 AM
I have had my 16 year old sister come to live with me and my partner she is still in school, both me and my partner work full time with approx annual income of 32000 when iv used the gov calculator states i am not entitled to receive any help however my boyfriend will not help towards the cost of my sister living with us as after all our bill are paid we have just enough to survive untill the next pay day, is there abything i can do
Stacey - 26-Jan-17 @ 9:03 PM
Chloe - Your Question:
My little sister (13) is currently living with me. I share a house and pay £450 a month rent, I don't claim anything for her as I'm not her parent, I work and bring in about £200 a week, would I be able to claim anything for my rent or for taking in my little sister, I'm really struggling financially after taking her in. She doesn't want to go back and live with our mum, mum doesn't give me anything for her either.

Our Response:
If you are now her main carer, you should be able to claim the child benefit. Your mother (whom we assume is currently claiming this benefit) would have to give evidence that this is the case. You may also be able to claim child tax credits but may need to obtain a care order before this is possible. Citizen's Advice may be able to help you with the claim.
LawAndParents - 26-Jan-17 @ 2:08 PM
hi my son is 16 hes registered with the local connections services,& i was still getting child tax credits for him,but the 20 weeks is now up,so i dont get anything not a penny,he has enrolled with the local college to re sit hes gcse's in september,should my payments have stopped or carried on as hes strarting full time education,or will they resume when hes actually started in september, please advice me as now this week ive not had a penny & i dont get paid from my job till 17/02/17, how are we meant to live with no money? i dont know what to do?
jengaj - 25-Jan-17 @ 7:29 PM
My little sister (13) is currently living with me. I share a house and pay £450 a month rent, I don't claim anything for her as I'm not her parent, I work and bring in about £200 a week, would I be able to claim anything for my rent or for taking in my little sister, I'm really struggling financially after taking her in. She doesn't want to go back and live with our mum, mum doesn't give me anything for her either.
Chloe - 25-Jan-17 @ 4:44 AM
I am due to give birth on 9th June this year but I am going to be still living at home with my mum who claims child tax credit and child benefit , how will it work for me if I claim child tax credit and child benefit will it affect my mums claim?
Georgia - 24-Jan-17 @ 3:04 PM
My husbands son (who was adopted) has been kicked out of his adopted parents home and has chosen to come and live with us permanently. He turned 16 last October and is in his final year of school. I have sorted out adding him to my child benefit and child tax credits claim which I already get for our two children, which share the same dad (my husband)as his son that was adopted.i know I have to tell income support of the changes but could you please tell me if having him live with us will effect my income support in anyway??
Nikkk - 24-Jan-17 @ 2:22 AM
Hi,I have been looking into entitlement into child tax credits. I see that if you are separated from the childs father but receive maintenance that this is not included when working out an award. I live with my husband who is not my two children's biological father nor has he adopted them. I have never had a penny from the birth father so why should my husbands wage be taken into account when he has no parental responsibility?
TH - 23-Jan-17 @ 12:59 PM
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