Child Tax Credit explained for parents of primary school children
Child Tax Credit is a benefit paid to help with the costs of bringing up a child. It’s means-tested and is usually paid every four weeks.
Are you eligible for Child Tax Credit?
Child Tax Credit is gradually being replaced by Universal Credit. If you already receive Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit, you can continue to claim it unless your circumstances change.
If you’re not currently claiming either of these two Tax Credits, you cannot make a new claim for them. Instead, you’ll need to apply for Universal Credit.
The basic rules for continuing to claim Child Tax Credit are:
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- You are over 16 and responsible for one or more children.
- Your child is under 16, or 16-20 and in approved education or training.
If you need help with childcare costs, this is covered by Working Tax Credit rather than Child Tax Credit.
Other criteria apply, including your age, the number of hours you work, whether you're single or a couple, and any disability.
The Government is gradually moving people from Tax Credits to Universal Credit. This may happen naturally, for instance if your circumstances change (e.g. your income changes). If not, you’ll be transferred to Universal Credit in a ‘managed move’. The aim is for everyone receiving Tax Credits to move to Universal Credit by December 2024.
Working out if you're eligible can be tricky. The Turn2Us Benefits Calculator will help you find out how much you could claim.
How much Child Tax Credit could you be entitled to?
The breakdown of Child Tax Credit for the 2021-2022 tax year is:
|The basic amount|
(called the Family Element)
|Up to £545|
|For each child (the Child Element)||Up to £2,845|
|For each disabled child||Up to £3,435|
(on top of the Child Element)
|For each severely disabled child||Up to £1,390|
(on top of the Child Element and
the Disabled Child Element)
The Turn2Us Benefits Calculator will help you calculate how much you may be eligible for.
How to apply for Child Tax Credit
You can no longer make a new claim for Child Tax Credit unless you already claim Working Tax Credit and become responsible for a child. Otherwise, you will need to apply for Universal Credit (see above).
How to use Child Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit can be used in any way you choose to help you bring up your children.