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: 19 Jul 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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[Add a Comment]
Hi I have my son 3times a week for a few hours in the week and 1till 5 on Saturday can I get any help with money
Vikkysicky - 19-Jul-18 @ 4:40 PM
My two youngest children live with my ex however they spent the majority of their time here. My ex claims the child benefit and tax credit and refuses to give meany of it. How can i change this?
Jon_goodboy - 11-Jul-18 @ 5:43 PM
if i don’t live with my dad or mum i’m 16 i live with my auntie can i claim money because i can’t live off nothing she has her own kids to provide for and she only gets money for them so can i claim money ? i’m still in education
chloe rose - 9-Jul-18 @ 5:44 PM
Me and x wife have a child who lives with us 50/50 can i claim tax credit LOG
Boo boo - 7-Jul-18 @ 7:20 PM
If my child lives 50/50 with her mum can i claim tax credit?
Boo - 7-Jul-18 @ 7:17 PM
Hi, I am holding British nationality, am I eligible to claim child benefit if my son not live in the UK ?
Sa - 5-Jul-18 @ 5:15 PM
Hi could you tell me once my daughter has left school will the amout of child benefit I get for my second daughter stay the same or will it increases to what I was getting for my first child
Theresa - 5-Jul-18 @ 7:50 AM
My partners 2 children have spent most of the past 3 months with us . Mother having them twice a wk if she can be bothered. She claims child tax credits and child benefits for them but isnt willing to part with any of there money what can i do
Shaza - 4-Jul-18 @ 2:36 PM
Hi. I have recently been to court and the judge has stated that my daughter lives with me until the next court date, that could be in a few months. My daughter has been living with me since the beginning of May but her mother is refusing to give me the child/tax benefit. Is there anything i can do?
ginger44 - 4-Jul-18 @ 2:30 PM
Me and my brother are living with our step dad, my mum gets child tax credits every week but is saying that it stops over the summer holidays. Is this true or not?
Char - 30-Jun-18 @ 3:54 PM
jen39 - Your Question:
My son is 16 and is demanding his child benefit, am I legally required to give it to him

Our Response:
No. Child Benefit is there a benefit to help you look after your child. Many parents do give the money directly to a child as pocket money, but this is not a legal requirement.
LawAndParents - 29-Jun-18 @ 10:49 AM
my son is 16 and is demanding his child benefit, am i legally required to give it to him
jen39 - 27-Jun-18 @ 1:51 PM
chan - Your Question:
Myself and my partner are expecting our first child together. He has a son from a previous relationship in which we pay £140 to his mum. I am looking at what help we maybe entitled to when our child is born and have looked at child benefits which I am a little confused about, this is my first child but his second, so are we entitled to the full amount for our child or the second rate that is lower? can anyone advice. Thanks.

Our Response:
You should be entitled to the first child amount.
LawAndParents - 26-Jun-18 @ 12:40 PM
Myself and my partner are expecting our first child together. He has a son from a previous relationship in which we pay £140 to his mum. I am looking at what help we maybe entitled to when our child is born and have looked at child benefits which I am a little confused about, this is my first child but his second, so are we entitled to the full amount for our child or the second rate that is lower? can anyone advice. Thanks.
chan - 25-Jun-18 @ 12:25 PM
I have now been living with my three kids for 6 months. Started claiming there child benifit after five weeks as there mum spent on her self over this period. What rights does she have now over the kids?
Ellis - 20-Jun-18 @ 10:10 PM
Aky - Your Question:
If my 17 year old works during the school summer holiday, would we still be entitled to Child Benefit when he resumes his studies in September? Thanks

Our Response:
Yes a child's part time summer job should not affect Child Benefit.
LawAndParents - 15-Jun-18 @ 3:19 PM
If my 17 year old works during the school summer holiday, would we still be entitled to Child Benefit when he resumes his studies in September? Thanks
Aky - 15-Jun-18 @ 1:22 PM
There is no means test, which means that it is available regardless of your savings or income. -- inaccurate -- Child Benefit Charge kicks in if either partner (whatever that definition is) earns more than £50000
logstash-* - 11-Jun-18 @ 3:25 PM
Hi I have a 12 year old for whom I get 29 pound p\w tax credits for and I also receive child benefit for her. My question is if my non dependant non working daughter comes back to live with me will her living with me affect my tax credits (I do not claim anything for her) . I also currently get my c tax discount, will she be expected to pay council tax, she is not working currently but would hope to get her into ESA to start looking for work. Many thanks
Jojo - 4-Jun-18 @ 12:14 AM
I provide 100% of my child's support but child currently living abroad, I reside in UK.Are there any child benefits or tax credits I can claim ?
rd - 1-Jun-18 @ 1:50 PM
sylvia - Your Question:
Hi there, I came from my country to Wales on 8th of October 2017 and I have the custody of my two children. The child benefit I received has now stopped. HM revenue & custom sent me a letter saying that my right to reside as a job seeker ended on 8 April 2018 and I no longer have a right to reside in the UK. So my child benefit stopped. I am still unemployed. Can I do something regarding the benefit?

Our Response:
You lose your right to reside after 91 days unless you can provide ‘compelling evidence’ that you are looking for and have a genuine prospect of getting work. If you're an EEA national and have worked - you can retain your right to reside if you have become involuntarily unemployed and are registered with the jobcentre. If you have lost your right to reside, your benefits will stop. If you can prove that you have a genuine prospect of work, you may be able to retain your right to reside.
LawAndParents - 30-May-18 @ 12:31 PM
Hi, i have 3 children .one aged 8 One 16 who is starting full time course at college in september . And one 17 who has left college amnd earning 160 p./ week. I have informed child benefit as i understand he is no longer entitled to that . What im not sure of is do i have to declare his income as he only pays 20 per week board? On my tax credits its says only the youngest 2 childrens names now ? Is this ok ??? Thanks
?? - 30-May-18 @ 12:25 PM
Hi, I have been a lone parent for the past 16 years & have always worked part time earning the minimum wage (between 18 & 23 hours per week). I received working tax credits, child tax credits, housing benefit, child benefit & maintenance. My daughter is 18 & has just left school. She has worked part time for the past 2 years. All of my benefits have now stopped. I understood I would lose certain benefits but not all of them. I believe I may get a lower amount of working tax credits if I work more than 30 hours per week but then I could be earning too much? If my daughter works 16 hours or less per week I may receive a lower amount of housing benefit? My daughter is now seen as a 'non dependant'. My daughter works a minimum of 16 hours at the moment. She refuses to help me out financially! She is travelling to Bangladesh in September for 10 weeks volunteering. She plans to go to Australia in 2019 for a year. I think that if she doesn't live with me I will receive housing benefit help? I am is such financial difficulty right now & really do not know what to do(this has all happened in the last few days)- I think I will be in rent arrears next month which will lead to eviction. am in desperate need of advice. many thanks
emma - 29-May-18 @ 8:59 PM
selina- Your Question:
Hello, I work 30 hours a week and get help as I a single parent and do not earn enough so I get some benefits. I was wondering if my 17 year old daugher could work 12 hours a week at the wage of £4.20 without it effecting my benifits?Thankyou.

Our Response:
If your daughter is still in full time education of 12 hours or more per week, her part time job should not affect your benefits.
LawAndParents - 29-May-18 @ 3:11 PM
Hello, i work 30 hours a week and get help as i a single parent and do not earn enough so i get some benefits. i was wondering if my 17 year old daugher could work 12 hours a week at the wage of £4.20 without it effecting my benifits? Thankyou.
selina - 28-May-18 @ 4:55 PM
Hi there, I came from my country to Wales on 8th of October 2017 and I have the custody of my two children. The child benefit I received has now stopped. HM revenue & custom sent me a letter saying that my right to reside as a job seeker ended on 8 April 2018 and I no longer have a right to reside in the UK. So my child benefit stopped. I am still unemployed. Can I do something regarding the benefit?
sylvia - 26-May-18 @ 11:21 AM
My son has split from his partner tjey have 3 children he wants to keep.his children a couple times a week but she is refusing incase it effects her benefits witch i no it will not does anyone on have proof I can show her that it won't hes tried for 3 bedroom propert he needs her to say yes he has them couple nights a week witch she point blank refuses to do this is all wrong he doesn't want to go to court as this usally turns out into a slanging match witch he doesn't want can someone she won't even ring tax credit to find out and he can't as hes not main carer
Shelly - 25-May-18 @ 6:41 PM
Helen - Your Question:
My son is coming 18 in July and is currently studying at college, if he gets a job as well as studying how many hours can he work before CSA & child benefit are stopped or does he still receive both as at college

Our Response:
What level of education is he studying at? If it's at A level standard or below and is full time education of 12 hours or more per week, any part time work should not affect your benefits or tax credits.
LawAndParents - 23-May-18 @ 2:37 PM
Dan - Your Question:
His there I have a shared residency order with my ex partner which has just been confirmed in court I have asked him for half of the tax credits and child benefit as I am single and on a low wage but he is refusing can I put a claim in

Our Response:
Tax credits and child benefit cannot be shared (although sometimes it's possible to claim for separate children). Talk to HMRC, they will normally pay claims from the person with a majority care but if both parents have equal care, they (HMRC) will decide who to pay.
LawAndParents - 23-May-18 @ 2:06 PM
Lucinda - Your Question:
Hi I am a single mother with 4 kids my twins are still in full time education, tax credits might stop my money as my ex partner still owns half the house, he wants to sell it but my solicitor is trying to hold on to it for me until the girls have finished, he comes and goes as he pleases to make me feel uncomfortable with his girlfriend, I will lose everything if he stops my money with tax credits ,

Our Response:
Have you been to court for a child arrangements order and maintenance? How often does the father have the children etc? Sorry there really isn't enough information here.
LawAndParents - 22-May-18 @ 11:23 AM
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