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: 18 Apr 2019 |
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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My 13 year old daughter resided with her gran parents for about6yr,so obviously they were receiving the child tax credits & child benefit, she has recently moved bk in with me & her dad full time ,so my questionis can they keep claiming the benefits & give the money to us for her upkeep ??instead of us making new claims & sitting without money for weeks,she still stays there at weekends so it might come under shared care
Jode - 18-Apr-19 @ 12:01 PM
I am about to have my 12 year old daughter on a full time bases living with me permanently. Up till now it has been weekends and occasional mid-week nights subject to my ex partners health and whereabouts.I work when I feel well enough and average £500 pcm in accordance with ESA ruling, So I'm on ESA £125 per week and an income of circa £500 pcm. My partner collects the £20.70 weekly child allowance so I should get this but I will require much more income as instead of living with my mother I will have to find a place for us to live, run my car and feed/clothe both of us. Can you give me an idea f where I should start with this forthcoming financial issue? Many thanks
BJ Ernest - 17-Apr-19 @ 8:21 PM
Hi all my son who is 16 has came to live with me he is on a training program 1 day a week to gain GCSE English and maths he left me couple of years ago to live with his mum his mum is soft with him and he never gained GCSE skiving school so I said if he wants to live with me he either gets job or education so story short he back with me and on a course is there any help I can get with him I am on a low wage and have to pay csa for my other 2 kids to same woman 250 a month which leaves me a 100 pound a month to survive after paying Bill's but having my 16 year old with me we all know teenagers eat loads plus electric and gas is there any help out there I can get ie tax credits child benefit just to help out just so I can clothe him feed him etc he came to me 1 pair of jogging bottoms and a t shirt that i bought him at xmas his mother did not care about him just got him to baby sit my 2 younger kids so she could go to her boyfriends house every night any way he has come to live with me and enjoying life making friends and doing what teenagers do instead of being stuck in babysitting
Bgd - 1-Apr-19 @ 7:57 AM
Can I claim,tax credits for myson,I got raped,tortured held for 3days,myson has disability a.d.h.d.I'm feeling he s wanted to come home.he was with my mum,but my mums getting to old.thanks he's 14yrs old.dad died.been threw enough? I need him way me.
Pauline Marshall - 23-Mar-19 @ 12:41 PM
Hi, my partner has a 9 year old daughter from a previous relationship. He is entitled to and claims her child benefit. We recently had our own baby, but because my partner gets his daughters child benefit, our son, my first child only gets the amount of £13.70 a week as a second child. He is MY first child and I am claiming his child benefit. This does not seem right or fair as my partners daughter is not mine. Thanks in advance.
Libbs - 20-Mar-19 @ 12:46 PM
Hi i have three daughters two of whom live with me my youngest lives with there mother who does not claim ctc for her can i claim child benefit and ctc for her if the mother agrees
martc - 18-Mar-19 @ 1:18 PM
Hi, my 18 year old son and his girlfriend have had a little boy and are planning to move in together in a few month as he finishedhis apprenticeship and has has been given a full time job from it. At the moment he’s still at home and his girlfriend and little boy are with her parents. My question is that his poor girlfriend doesn’t get any money/ benefits or anything and only gets £20 family allowance a week. Her mum and dad are having to keep her, which obviously they don’t mind but is this right. My son helps with his baby, money wise obviously and we help too as he’s our grandson of course, but what if they didn’t have such a supportive family. Surely she should be entitled to something in her own right.
Daisy - 18-Mar-19 @ 12:44 PM
I'm 15yr old with my son at 1yr old Am I eligible to claim for my own child as my mother and father are trying to say my son is theirs now I'm wanting to claim for him to pay for wht he needs
Smorris - 24-Feb-19 @ 3:50 PM
I got a great question for anyone who can help. My partner lives in the UK and has paid child support to a woman for over five years, but.....he is NOT on the birth certificate, has been denied a DNA test by her and never seen the child, he says there are a lot of potential fathers, he can't afford court, my biggest problem is WHY Child maintenance even took money from him with no proof on her part?.....someone help us
Nat - 8-Feb-19 @ 12:14 AM
Have a question my son is 11 and wants to live with my mam I have said he can if he really wants to is she able to claim child tax and benefits for him thanks
Kira - 22-Jan-19 @ 6:30 PM
I separated from my wife in 2016. I kept residency of our two children until February 2017 when she took residency of our youngest for financial purposes (to claim housing benefit) Currently we have a shared care agreement in terms of where the children stay and she claims child benefit and child tax credit for one child and I claim for the other. We both equally provide in terms of clothing and other esse tials the children need. The only difference she feeds the children twice a week or 8x a month which ever way you want to look at it compared to me doing it everyday. It works out I am paying out more than I am getting to support my children and whilst I am happy to do this, it seems unfair that she saves all these benefits for trips away for herself or fancy meals out. The money is for the children at the end of the day. In my case am I entitled to claim for both children to help support them? Thanks.
Me - 15-Jan-19 @ 6:14 PM
I an 65, on retirement pension. My 18yr old grandsonhas come to live with me. Can I CLAIM ANY BENEFITS FOR HIM?
pollywolly2 - 6-Jan-19 @ 8:15 PM
I’m under the age of 16 and living with my mum I have a baby due in February when he’s here could I claim for child benefits for him if it goes into my mums bank account?
Kaitlin - 16-Dec-18 @ 8:24 PM
I'm a foster carer with a 16year old mum and new baby. Grandmother is claiming child tax credit for the baby even though it doesn't reside with her and never has. Is this allowed no one seems to want to take ownership of this concern
Jackie - 10-Dec-18 @ 6:36 AM
My 15 year old son has moved out his mothers and moved in with me, i work , earn about £11,500 a year , not got a clue if i am entitled to anything for my sonPlease help with some advice.
Gar C - 26-Nov-18 @ 9:11 AM
Hi there could someone help me. I am a single mum with 4 children. One is 21 and at university. The other 3 I claim for but my 18 year old daughter is still at school doing her a levels but she has got a job 10 hours a week. Does this affect my benefits. Thank you.
Poppy - 11-Nov-18 @ 7:02 PM
My ex partner has given me custody of our two children to which I claim child benefit and child tax credits for. My ex partner is now saying I should be giving her half of my benefits because she has them Thurs-Mon atm but that will change this month to Fri pick up Sunday drop off as the eldest is starting nursery. Do I have to give her any money??
Jason - 2-Nov-18 @ 7:40 PM
I am on ESA and my 19 son was my carer.he has now gone to college 3 days a week.what benefits are we entitled to
Lizzy - 19-Oct-18 @ 10:51 PM
I don’t have children but my ex partner did when we broke up I’m moved away now this government is trying to make me pay child tax credits back to them I never had any of that money nor did it have anything to do with me I’m not her children’s father it’s ridiculous that they think they can take my money for someone else’s children she should pay it not me
Jaybob - 17-Oct-18 @ 6:45 AM
I am a single parent who claims working tax credit and now have my niece who’s 16 who is in education. Am i able to claim for her and will it effect my claim ?
Kal - 15-Oct-18 @ 11:19 AM
I've split up from the mother of my children 10 months ago. My son has been living with me full-time for 4 months. Iam I entitled to claim for him .she is still claiming for him ??
Alfie - 3-Oct-18 @ 3:32 PM
I've recently had to flee from my partner for domestic violence. I have 3children and took two with me . I intend to return for my 3rd child. Dad is now saying he's making a claimfor benefits, Can he do this . I send my son money but dad I very difficult and saying he's taking control . I currently claim child benefit and tax credits . What are my rights .
Kirsty Kay - 29-Sep-18 @ 10:46 PM
I have two children of my own . My partner died in February his eldest son 17year old is staying with me is estranged from his mother . He has commenced college full time I have applied for child benefit for him awaiting confirmation what else might I be entitled to to help support him financially
Polly - 29-Sep-18 @ 3:19 PM
Me and my ex partner split up 4 months ago, our daughter lives with me. He has her on a weekend basis, I'm still providing everything for her, even when she is at her father's for the weekend, he claims that he is entitled to half of the benefits I claim for her, I'm on UC and as far as I was aware as a single parent claim tax credits is awarded to the parent with full care of the child, he claims his name is still on the tax credits yet I'm the one claiming them through UC is this possible, can he claim tax credits and child benefits if she resides with myself
PixieKR - 21-Sep-18 @ 9:45 AM
My sons 16hecant find a course helikes in college . I have had my,tax,stoped im.a,single parent how,can. I.live on nothing is,they,any help. Ti he finds a,job
Nic - 15-Sep-18 @ 10:25 PM
Hi, long story short I am a single parent but I must state my child does see his father we kind of on a 60/40 spilt at the moment with that 60% my side. Anyway I have recently had to move back home with my son so we are now both living with my parent/ grandparent. I do receive child benefit and child tax but I have just been offered a job of 24hours a week on min wage. My mother is currently receiving benefits due to long term illness please do notassume! she has worked for many years up until recently!! I am just seeing would I still be able to claim child tax possibly working tax while living with my parent who stated above is on benefits and would this affect my mother benefits too.
L - 8-Sep-18 @ 12:50 AM
My step daughter boyfriend who is 17 has been living with us for 10 months now , although I do get his child benefit this is all I receive for him . I work full time and so does my husband but with 2 teens in the house it’s getting expensive and with course fees for college and equipmentnow - what can I claim
Nicolablue - 6-Sep-18 @ 11:29 AM
Hi there Can I ask my friends son has been working full time within the school holidays even though his mum is claiming benefits for him at the age of 19 and he is about to go back to college to do a course, is this allowed? I tried telling her she need to at least declare it but she’s unsure if she needs to or not so I thought I’d ask? So I can give her proof this is what she should do. Thank you in advance
Kezza - 4-Sep-18 @ 6:56 PM
Hi my son is 15 years old he moves back and forth to my house and his dads house. His dad has full custody of him. But he has moved back with me again. He said he isn’t going back to dads. But dad said I’m not intitled to the child benefit or child tax credit as he has custody of him even though he’s back living with me full time his dad is keeping all the money please help
Tt - 30-Aug-18 @ 4:36 AM
my daughter has just turned 16 and even though she has been ill for years with spinal problems and she has had several operations and needs more treatment she has missed lots of her school years andplace cant be found for her due to her illness she has had her child benefit stopped. can we appeal against this decision,as we have been told that we cant.
brian - 29-Aug-18 @ 3:10 PM
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