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)


  • Guest
    Kofi Saturday, 06 May 2017


    Please i want to claim child tax credit..can i claim it into my wife's bank account eventhough I am the claimant.

    Thank you

  • Guest
    Unknown80s Friday, 23 June 2017

    50/50 and Ex Partners

    Ex partner claims Child Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Works and lives with family
    What benefits can an unemployed father with 50/50 split have and equal day to day care of a child

  • Guest
    Ady Monday, 17 July 2017

    Benefits help single perent dad

    Hi I have resently split up with my wife and I have full custody of my daughter which she is 9 years old. My ex wife normally deals with benefits so I haven't got a clue really

    I don't work at the moment and we love with my mother right now so I was wondering if anyone has got any advice on what I can claim when it comes to benefits?

    Thanks in advance

  • Guest
    Keith Thursday, 21 September 2017


    Hi applied for child tax credit only to be turned down. I was made redundant in May 2017 I get a pension of just under 20000 for my family which includes my 7 year old daughter and wife. No other income. They took into account my earnings for 2016 upto to April 2017. They have added my pension and previous salary that surely can't be right? The fact is I am no longer recieving a salary only a pension.

  • Guest
    Kevin Thursday, 05 October 2017

    Single dad

    Hi I'm a single father who works 22 hrs per week,I have a son who's 11 me and his mum share our time with him and I also pay child maintenance and also buys him other things when he needs it all the time but she gets the child tax credits for all her kids,am I able to claim anything? Working tax credits maybe?

  • Guest
    Barry Mcewan Thursday, 12 October 2017


    Hi there I currently have my son a week about on a continuous rotation throughout the year. She gets the child tax credit and my child mateince money of a reduced rate due to my hour that I work. I don't recive any help with costs for him and struggling every month just to put a hot dinner down for him.. Is there any way to have a shared cost of tax credits with mother.?..ive asked her but she wants it to herself.

  • Guest
    S Sunday, 15 October 2017

    Anyone help a dad in need

    Hi so me an my wife spilt 6 months ago I'm 29 an had to move back home I work 18 hr a week (I was working 50 hrs weeks when we where together until my wife found a better job so I cut my hrs to be with the kids ) so she said she wanted the benefits an she wouldn't ask me for money but she changed her mind she's gets everything plus wa I have to give her an I have the kids from after skool till 7pm on a m,t,w,f an every other weekend please someone tell me if this is wrong or what I'm doing wrong like I said I work 18 hrs a week I got to pay rent food for me an them I'm struggling

  • Guest
    C. Saggers Friday, 03 November 2017

    Mr-s saggers

    It’s nice to see in comments some mothers are willing to share when more than one child, yet still the same old treatment with little reply for fathers.
    Mostly due to being just a matter of fact, which no high court will hear to even waver considering two parents are equal.
    Such a disheartening feeling for those fathers which do have passion for their children’s upbringing.

  • Guest
    Rikki Thursday, 12 July 2018

    Newly Separated

    Hi there,

    I’m currently sharing the care of my 2yr old daughter with my wife. I have her for 3 nights a week at minimum. We have separated and living apart. The costs with rent and nursery are pretty steep. We are both in full time work (I’m self employed) but we are both looking for financial support from the government.

    How do we both receive the benefits? I’m mainly after the housing but I can’t seem to get my head round what part of the Child Care benefit I need and if we both can claim it. Is the Child Care Tax credit I need to be claiming in order to get it or is it the Benefit. Very confusing.

  • Guest
    Colin Sunday, 01 July 2018

    Paternity pay

    Hello we recently had a baby and work told me I didn't qualify for paternity pay because I hadn't been there the required time, is there any other benefit I can appy for?

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