Responsibility for a child

You can only claim Child Tax Credit for children you’re responsible for.

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 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if you’re not sure you’re responsible for the child.

If you share responsibility for a child and you cannot agree who should claim you can both apply. HMRC will decide for you.

If you adopted or fostered a child

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 HMRC to find out if you can claim.

If you’re responsible for a disabled child

You may get extra Child Tax Credits if your child either:

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