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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Child Benefit and Tax Credits: Who Receives Child Benefit

Responsible for a child or qualifying young person

For a person to be entitled to receive Child Benefit for a child or qualifying young person, they must be responsible for them.

Generally, a person is responsible for the child or qualifying young person when the child or qualifying young person lives with them. The term living with is not defined in legislation but it is usually accepted that a child or qualifying young person sharing a common household with the claimant is living with them.

There are however, several factors which should be given consideration when making a decision such as;

  • living with involves the presence, as opposed to the absence of a child or qualifying young person
  • living with does not have the same meaning as residing together or presence under the same roof
  • it does not necessarily involve actual care and control although where it is exercised, it is an important factor
  • where a parent and child or qualifying young person live under the same roof it is not conclusive evidence the child or qualifying young person lives with the parent. It does however, raise a strong presumption that it is so and that there exists the normal relationship of parent and child or qualifying young person
  • it involves something more than mere transitory presence
  • taking into account far more than the physical presence of the parent and child or qualifying young person in the same household. Also consider the question of the relationship of parent and child or qualifying young person, which is the normal basis of family life

A person can also be responsible for the child or qualifying young person if the child or qualifying young person lives with someone else but they are paying money for the child’s or qualifying young person’s upkeep, see CBTM06080 for more information.

Only one person can receive Child Benefit for a child or qualifying young person at any one time and they do not need to be the child’s or qualifying young person’s parent.

Exclusions

Child Benefit is no longer payable if responsibility ends or the conditions for a qualifying young person are no longer met.

Responsibility may end when the child or qualifying young person is;

  • in local authority care (see CBTM08080
  • in prison or detained in custody (see CBTM08070)
  • living with another person as a member of a couple (see CCM18012)

A person no longer meets the conditions for a qualifying young person when they receive

  • Income Support
  • Jobseekers Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • An Employment and Support Allowance
  • Tax Credits

Before April 2006 Child Benefit was not payable where the child was getting payments made under Section 4 of the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act (Northern Ireland) 1945 or Article 16 of the Industrial Training (Northern Ireland) Order 1984.

Main differences to Child Tax Credit (CTC)

A person cannot claim CTC if the child or qualifying young person is not normally living with them. There is no provision in CTC for contributing to the upkeep of a child or qualifying young person. See TCTM02202.