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)


  • Team 2 Team 2 Tuesday, 19 July 2016

    Hi Richard

    Thanks for getting in touch. We have a great community forum where you can share some of your concerns, knowing there will be like-minded dads and expert moderators on the site to support you:

    You may also find it useful to visit some of the articles in our Relationships, Separation and Child Maintenance section:

    I would also recommend you seek some extra support from Child Maintenance Options:

    Hope some of our suggestions help you.

    All the best,

    -DAD team

  • Guest
    derek Tuesday, 26 July 2016

    If my ex doesn't claim?

    What if my ex isn't claiming can I claim the additional income and increase maintenance payments

  • Guest
    Hilary Berry Friday, 29 July 2016

    Grand parent entitlement

    As a grandmother supporting a granddaughter who is 17 and going into full time education in September am I entitled to claim tax benifits

  • Team 2 Team 2 Monday, 01 August 2016

    Hi Hilary

    It may be worth calling the Tax Credits helpline on 845 300 3900 to ask them for advice.

    Kind regards

    Dad.Info Team

  • Team 2 Team 2 Friday, 29 July 2016

    Hi Derek

    The Child Maintenance people or Citizens Advice will be able to answer your question. Here is the link to their sites:


    The team

  • Guest
    sean Wednesday, 10 August 2016


    hi i am from south africa and have leave to remain status and married my wife is a uk citizen and we have three school age children i work my wife doesnt my question is because i can not claim from the public fund yet my wife can can we claim working tax credits which she will receive even though she does not work but i do and pay tax we do not get any benefits so is that classed as me claiming tax credits from the public funds or my wife would really like to know if my wife can get this without breaking my right to remain visa

  • Guest
    Abdul Saturday, 13 August 2016



    Is there a limit on savings in order to get tax credits?

  • Guest
    jeffrey Thursday, 18 August 2016

    hi, am European citizen leaving in uk and self employed since April.Now my families has come to join me, can i claim child tax and working tax credit? As my partner is not working yet. thanks.

    hi , can i claim child tax and working tax credit as dad, my wife and children just came to join me.i being self employed since April . am European citizen.

  • Guest
    Amir Friday, 19 August 2016

    council tax high more than befor

    I received letter about the council tax bill its very high as my house band D when i was working just 24 hours a week i paid each month £28 ,after i leave my work i received letter bill to pay £52 Monthly i am now in Job seekers Allowance ,i have been on office of council she told me because you get child tax credit ,i told her i have been since my boy born i get why now they change it my boy age 4 years old .
    i hope to give me answer and explain for this issue


  • Guest
    Shaheen Monday, 22 August 2016


    Hi I m seprated with my husband last 2 years'I just want to know am I eligible for child tax credit and income tax credit if I do work 30 hours a week.

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