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 May 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 17 teen year old child desided to leave home to live her her 19 year old boyfriend and his mother.Do I still claim her on my taxes?? Can she get child tax.She has dropped out of school and is not working..when I file my taxes do I just claim my 13 year old ..
Jj - 28-May-17 @ 8:37 AM
My child is with me 2 nights and one afternoon, soon to go to 3 nights a week. His mother claims child benifit. I am entitled to any of this if so how much?
Drew - 27-May-17 @ 3:48 PM
My friend has his child 3/4 nights a week and the mum only has her 1/2 nights the other nights will be spent with her relative. I think he should be the one claiming for the child not her. She has told benefits and tax credits she has her all week. Is this committing fraud?
S88 - 25-May-17 @ 10:47 PM
Kelly25 - Your Question:
My daughter 18 just found out she pregnant lives at home with me and her dad. She is still in college and wants to continue her education after she has had the baby my husband works full time me parttime we have 4 kids claim child tax credits want to know I do still claim her money and child benifits or will I lose them and she got to claim for herself and baby as not responsible enough with money

Our Response:
Child benefit (and therefore child tax credit) is only payable until the equivalent of A levels, so she you would not be able to claim after August anyway.
LawAndParents - 25-May-17 @ 2:27 PM
Hi am on esa and receive children tax and child benefit, my daughter is in full time education and wants to get a part time job ,will this effect my benifits
Nikki - 24-May-17 @ 6:50 PM
My daughter 18 just found out she pregnant lives at home with me and her dad. She is still in college and wants to continue her education after she has had the baby my husband works full time me parttime we have 4 kids claim child tax credits want to know i do still claim her money and child benifits or will i lose them and she got to claim for herself and baby as not responsible enough with money
Kelly25 - 24-May-17 @ 12:57 AM
I a single mum and work 16 hours a week & receive working / child tax benefit because my 18 year old is at college..she wants to leave the course now in may & get on another course in September but I'm so worried as I'm struggling as it is on the money I earn and don't know if I'll loose benefits from now to September when she gets on n another course ?? Ive tried explaining the situation but she just says I'm more interested in money than her ..I've tried explaing we are all ready in rent arrears from me wanting to go back to work so it will be even worse ..she says she'd just not turn up at college so i t won't make any difference I'm so worried
Slave-to -1 - 21-May-17 @ 10:51 PM
hi me and my husband just after spilting up hes move out but our morgage is in both our names we agree to keep it that way so he going to pay for half each month as the house will be left to both my 2 boys will i be able to claim tax credit for myself and 2 boys
tons - 21-May-17 @ 7:58 PM
K1980 - Your Question:
Hi im a single mum on jsa. in sept my son 16 will be in ft education but he will be living in england with a friend and his parents while he completes his course and I will be living in scotland how will this accept child tax credits and child benefit. will I be able to still get this and sent to him for his living expensives or will he be entitled to get this himself

Our Response:
You probably won't be able to claim yourself if he is not living with you. The government website explains about Child Benefit when a child doesn't live you here
LawAndParents - 19-May-17 @ 12:27 PM
Hi im a single mum on jsa ... in sept my son 16 will be in ft education but he will be living in england with a friend and his parents while he completes his course and i will be living in scotland how will this accept child tax credits and child benefit .. will i be able to still get this and sent to him for his living expensives or will he be entitled to get this himself
K1980 - 18-May-17 @ 12:39 PM
Hi me and my wife separated in Jan we have two daughters together aged eleven and nine they live with her at her house but I have them at my house Friday till Sunday is there anything I can claim for the days they're with me.
Juddynoteeth - 17-May-17 @ 9:28 PM
Hi me and my wife separated in January we have to daughters together aged 11 and 9 they live with her but I have them Friday till sunday is there anything I can claim for the days they stay with me.
Juddynoteeth - 17-May-17 @ 9:25 PM
Car - Your Question:
Hi I'm daughter lives with my mother Monday to Thursday can I claim anything for her am I'm unemployed at mo any help for me help with clothes and food she 8 years old I have her Friday Saturday and Sunday thanks in advance

Our Response:
It's unlikely that you will be able to claim as you are not the parent with main residence unfortunately. Try the Turn 2 Us website to see if there's any other help you can get.
LawAndParents - 17-May-17 @ 11:09 AM
Hi I'm daughter lives with my mother Monday to Thursday can I claim anything for her am I'm unemployed at mo any help for me help with clothes and food she 8 years old I have her Friday Saturday and Sunday thanks in advance
Car - 15-May-17 @ 7:33 PM
Babcock - Your Question:
My 17 year old son left FT Education last summer and got full time employment but unfortunately this job is now coming to and end and he is going to attend college when the new term starts.Will I be liable for maintenance payments again once the course starts?

Our Response:
If your son is under 19 and studying up to A level standard or equivalent then you may be liable for maintenance payments.
LawAndParents - 15-May-17 @ 2:39 PM
Hi I posted this earlier and you responded re English schools but we live in Scotland and have been advised he can leave on 29th May 2017 even though he does not turn 16 until 13th Sept 2017 - when should my child benefit stop as don't want to receive it if I am not entitled as do not want to have to pay it back. Many thanks. Previous Post Hi My son is currently 15 and can leave school at the end of May but will not be 16 until Sept 2017. He will not be in any employment and is planning on joining the army but needs to wait until Jan 2018 to apply for the area he wishes to join. I called HMRC to query when Child Benefit would stop if he left education at the end of May and they said that it would not stop until the August after he turned 16 i.e. 2018 even though he will not be in any education. I don't think this seems correct, are you able to clarify if it does run on or whether I have been given false information as advisor did not seem to confident in what they were saying. Our Response: No if he's in England and is not 16 until September he cannot leave school until June next year (Scotland is slightly different), so if he's not 16 until September he should go on to complete his year 11 at school? Child Benefit is actually payable until the end of final school year (August) and can continue if a child studies in full time education of 12 hours or more per week at A level standard or equivalent until the age of 18 (sometimes 19). LawAndParents - 10-May-17 @ 11:40 AM
Tracy - 14-May-17 @ 5:29 PM
Hello. My child resides with my ex partner and I pay CSA. My ex claims child tax credit and child benefit but this does not seem to go towards my child as I am constantly having to pay extra towards clothing for her to wear at her mams, shoes, food, her bus fare to meet me half way for drop off and pick ups etc etc. Would it be possible for me to claim this for my child instead of my ex as it will help me to be able to provide things my daughter needs which I currently leave myself short of money to do so.
Leeroy - 13-May-17 @ 7:01 PM
I claim working and child tax credits my son leaves college soon and starts uni in September, does anyone know when all my tax credits will stop.
CW - 13-May-17 @ 12:56 PM
My child wants to move home after living with dad for a year can I still claim even though I have 3 more children
Missy - 12-May-17 @ 6:15 PM
Hi I'm a single mother with a son who is 17 at college 25 hours a week. he want to work part time in a shop will this affect my working tax benefits ?
bobby blue - 12-May-17 @ 1:35 PM
SH - Your Question:
Hi, my child wants to live with his aunt as he has been having trouble at his school, he will only be there on week days and will be home every weekend, can I continue to claim working and child tax credit for him, he is 14?

Our Response:
If you are not the main carer for the child (e.g he does not live at your address for the majority of his time), you will not be able to claim Tax credit or Child Benefit for him. His aunt maybe able to do so though.
LawAndParents - 12-May-17 @ 12:51 PM
My 17 year old son left FT Education last summer and got full time employment but unfortunately this job is now coming to and end and he is going to attend college when the new term starts.Will i be liable for maintenance payments again once the course starts?
Babcock - 12-May-17 @ 9:54 AM
Tom - Your Question:
Hi I'm quite concerned for my tax credits as my son is at college (hes 17) doing a levels but he's had a fair bit of illness this year and consequently his attendance has suffered, its roughly in the region of 85%. Which I know is not great and am frightened whether or not I will receive a hefty bill. Is there any advice and likely outcomes?

Our Response:
If he's registered on full time education of 12 hours per week or more your tax benefits should not be affected. We don't thinkan extended period of sick absence would affect this.
LawAndParents - 12-May-17 @ 9:53 AM
Hiya I am 17 and still live with my mam and am about to have a child of my own am I wounding if my mam can still claim child benefit and child tax for me and am still going to be in full time education but can I claim child tax and child benefit for my new child aswell
Mason - 11-May-17 @ 10:55 PM
Moon - Your Question:
Hello iwant to start work but im from differnt country and my mother in law claiming benefit and she nt support me or nt isupport her and guve any penny to her but ilive with my mother inlaw is still any effect on her benefit or me thankyou

Our Response:
If you start work and you live with your mother in law, her benefits may be affected.
LawAndParents - 11-May-17 @ 2:04 PM
Hi, my child wants to live with his aunt as he has been having trouble at his school, he will only be there on week days and will be home every weekend, can I continue to claim working and child tax credit for him, he is 14?
SH - 11-May-17 @ 11:47 AM
Hi I'm quite concerned for my tax credits as my son is at college (hes 17) doing a levels but he's had a fair bit of illness this year and consequently his attendance has suffered, its roughly in the region of 85%. Which I know is not great and am frightened whether or not I will receive a hefty bill. Is there any advice and likely outcomes?
Tom - 10-May-17 @ 4:30 PM
Tracy - Your Question:
HiMy son is currently 15 and can leave school at the end of May but will not be 16 until Sept 2017. He will not be in any employment and is planning on joining the army but needs to wait until Jan 2018 to apply for the area he wishes to join. I called HMRC to query when Child Benefit would stop if he left education at the end of May and they said that it would not stop until the August after he turned 16 i.e. 2018 even though he will not be in any education. I don't think this seems correct, are you able to clarify if it does run on or whether I have been given false information as advisor did not seem to confident in what they were saying.

Our Response:
No if he's in England and is not 16 until September he cannot leave school until June next year (Scotland is slightly different), so if he's not 16 until September he should go on to complete his year 11 at school? Child Benefit is actually payable until the end of final school year (August) and can continue if a child studies in full time education of 12 hours or more per week at A level standard or equivalent until the age of 18 (sometimes 19).
LawAndParents - 10-May-17 @ 11:40 AM
Hello iwant to start work but im from differnt country and my mother in law claiming benefit and she nt support me or nt isupport her and guve any penny to her but ilive with my mother inlaw is still any effect on her benefit or methankyou
Moon - 10-May-17 @ 11:09 AM
Jackie- Your Question:
If my 15 year old child gets a weekend job, will I still be getting child benefits from her ?

Our Response:
Yes you can still claim child benefit as long as your child is in full time education (even if they get a part time job).
LawAndParents - 9-May-17 @ 1:51 PM
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