Child Tax Credit

Have you been wondering if your family is entitled to any financial support, but finding it tricky to work it all out? You are not alone! Tax Credits are fiendishly complicated, in fact, they're so complex, it’s estimated that although nine out of ten families with children qualify, only 80 per cent of those eligible actually apply for them!



Don’t worry, Dad Info is here to make things clear and simple, making sure that you don’t miss out on the support you are entitled to receive.

 So here's our guide to Child Tax Credit…

Who is eligible?

 If you have a child who you are responsible for, you may be eligible for Child Tax Credits, including if you are not working.

You can claim if your child is:

  • aged 16 and under, up to 31 August after their 16th birthday
  • aged under 19, or under 20 in certain circumstances, if they're still in full time education.

How much you can get will depend on your income and the number of children you have:

  • the more you earn, the less you will receive.
  • If your child was born after 6th April 2017, you won’t be entitled to the family element of child tax credit, nor will you be able to claim any additional tax credits for more than two children. 

What if I'm separated?

The Government will only give the Child Tax Credit to one parent - the person deemed as having the main responsibility for the child. This can feel unfair as in many separated families, it's true that there may not be a 'main carer' anymore, and yes, even if you look after the children 3.49 days a week and the child's mother has them 3.51 days a week, she is classified as the main carer and will receive 100% of the child tax credit.

Contact the Tax Credit Helpline (contact details below) if you’re not sure you are responsible for the child.

If you do share responsibility for a child, and you can’t agree who should claim, you can both apply and the Tax Credit Office will make the decision. In reality, if there is a dispute about who should receive the tax credit, it will generally go to whoever receives the Child Benefit. 

How much is it worth?

Child Tax Credit is made up of two elements: Family and Child.

The family element is paid to all families who have at least one child who was born before 6th April 2017, and is worth up to £545 a year.

The child element is paid for each child and is worth up to a maximum of £2780 a year. If your first child was born after 6th April 2017, you will only be able to claim Child tax Credits for up to two children.

If you have children who were born before 6th April 2017, you can claim Child Tax Credits for all of them. However, if you have more than two children, you will not be able to claim additional tax credits for any additional children born after the 6th April 2017. 

How is it paid?

Tax Credits are paid directly into the bank account of the main carer for all the child/children. 

How do I claim?

You can claim Child Tax Credit by completing a claim form – to get one of these you will need to apply, either online or on the phone.

You can do this online at or calling the Tax Credits Helpline on 0345 300 3900.

You’ll need your National Insurance Number (which you can get from your employer if you've forgotten it) and an idea of your earnings for the last financial, and this financial year.


Updated: September 2017

Hide comments (57)


  • Semab
    Semab Thursday, 17 March 2016


    Me and my husband are living in a rented property with our 9 months old daughter. We are unemployed . Can we apply rent? Is that rent going to affect my husband's leave to remain application?

  • Team 1 Team 1 Wednesday, 08 June 2016

    Dear Semab - thank you for your comment, unfortunately we are unable to comment on individual situations - the Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to offer you some suitable advice - a link to their website is below:

    All the best - please let us know how you get on.

    Kind regards

    DAD.Info Team

  • Guest
    Patrick Casey Sunday, 15 May 2016

    If you receive child tax credit you qualify for a free combi boiler.

    Hi my name is Patrick Casey, technical director of Eco Heat Hillington Ltd.

    We are a family run business based in Glasgow, Scotland.

    Just a quick note for the readers, if you are currently receiving child tax credit:

    You qualify for a grant from the UK government, enabling you to replace your boiler for free.

    Find out more or apply online at

    Or give us a call: 0141 212 0044

    we are happy to help, even if you need some advice.

  • Guest
    Dave Monday, 20 June 2016


    Is a women allowed to claim child tax credit and also recieve an income from the father every month?

  • Team 1 Team 1 Tuesday, 21 June 2016

    Hi Dave

    Thank you for your comment - the child maintenance people will be able to confirm this for you either way. Here is the link to their site:

    Alternatively - it would be really helpful if you posted your comment on our DAD.Info Forum page. Our community of Dads and experienced moderators will be able to advise you further.

    Kind regards

    Dad.Info Team

  • Guest
    andrew cooper Friday, 24 June 2016


    hi we recently came into some money due to the death of a relative 40000 are child tax credits and working tax credits have been cancelled due to the amount of savings we now have but we have been told that the monies previously paid have got to be repaid how can the ask for money back on what until the inheritance was a legitamate claim thank you

  • Team 2 Team 2 Monday, 27 June 2016


    Thank you for getting in touch. The Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help - a link to their website is below:

    Kind regards

    DAD.Info Team

  • Guest
    Luke mee Wednesday, 29 June 2016

    Are dads intitled

    Me and my partner have have separated over 3yrs now I have my 2 boys I have them most of the time but she is claiming the money for them I was wondering because the children are living with me most the time am I intitled to that money rather than there mum as I'm the one always buying there clothes uniforms and feeding them ect.

    What would be the best way to sort this as there mum is already claiming and not spending it on the children.

  • Team 1 Team 1 Wednesday, 29 June 2016

    Hi Luke

    Thank you for your comment - the child maintenance people should be able to help you with this -

    I would recommend that you post your question on our forum page too - we have a great community of Dads who may be able to offer advice based on their previous experiences and we have experienced moderators who may be able to help you too.

    Good luck - please let us know if you need any further advice.

    Kind regards

    DAD.Info Team

  • Guest
    Richard Saturday, 16 July 2016

    Hi just want to know if this situation is right I have my son Monday's Tuesday Wednesday Thursday n 1 weekend month yet his mum is claiming our child's tax credits is that allowed or am I entitled to the tax credits

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