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.
You can’t claim tax credits and Universal Credit at the same time.
The child’s age
To qualify the child must be:
- under 16 - you can claim up until the 31st August after their 16th birthday
- under 20 - if they’re in approved education or training
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:
- gets Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
- is certified blind (or was within 28 weeks of your tax credits claim)
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.