3. Eligibility

Eligibility depends on:

  • the child’s age
  • if you’re responsible for the child

Use the tax credits online tool to check if you qualify.

The child’s age

To qualify the child must be:

Responsibility for a child

You’re usually responsible for a child if:

  • they live with you all the time
  • they normally live with you and you’re the main carer
  • they keep their toys and clothes at your home
  • you pay for their meals and give them pocket money
  • they live in an EEA country or Switzerland but are financially dependent on you

Contact the Tax Credit Helpline if you’re not sure you’re responsible for the child.

If you share responsibility for a child and you can’t agree who should claim you can both apply. The Tax Credit Office will decide for you.

You can claim for an adopted or fostered child if you’re not getting money from your local council (Health and Social Services Board in Northern Ireland). If you do get money call the Tax Credit Helpline to find out if you can claim.

If the child’s disabled

You may get extra Child Tax Credits if the child:

You still qualify if Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment stops because the child goes into hospital.

Moving to the UK from the EEA

You must wait 3 months before claiming Child Tax Credit if you arrived in the UK from the EEA on or after 1 July 2014 and don’t work. There are some exceptions.