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Tax Credits and Child Benefit

If you are a carer who is in work and/or who has dependent children you might be entitled to claim Tax Credits and Child Benefit.


This information applies to people living in England, Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland.


If you are a carer who is in work you may be entitled to Working Tax Credit (WTC).

If you are a carer who has dependent children you may be entitled to Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Child Benefit.

Note: In certain parts of the country working age people will have to claim Universal Credit instead of Tax Credits, however most carers are not yet affected by this. For further information see the Universal Credit section of our website. Even if you are in an area where you would normally have to claim Universal Credit, if you have three or more children, this will not yet be possible, and you will be directed back to claim the older style benefits.


Working Tax Credit (WTC)

Who can claim WTC?

You may be entitled to WTC if you work 16 hours or more per week and one of the following conditions applies:

  • You are a single parent with a dependent child.
  • You are in a couple, you have dependent children, one of you works at least 16 hours per week and you work at least 24 hours per week between you.
  • You are in a couple, you have dependent children, and the partner who is not working is in prison, receiving Carer’s Allowance, or is incapacitated.
  • You are eligible for the disability element.
  • You are aged 60 or over.

If you don’t fit into one of the above categories then you have to be over 25 and working at least 30 hours per week to be entitled to WTC.

Note: Time you spend caring on an unpaid basis (even if you are claiming benefits such as Carer’s Allowance) does not count as ‘work’ for WTC purposes.

How much is WTC?

If you (or any partner) are receiving Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowanceincome-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit you will automatically receive the maximum amount of WTC that you are entitled to.

If you (or any partner) are not in receipt of any of these benefits, then HMRC will carry out a calculation based on your (and any partners) income and capital to work out whether you are entitled to WTC, and if so how much.

WTC are complicated to work out so for further information contact the Carers UK Adviceline.

How do I claim WTC and report a change in my circumstances?

In England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland you can contact the Tax Credits Helpline on 0345 300 3900 to claim and to report a change in your circumstances.

What happens if I disagree with a WTC decision?

If you disagree with a WTC decision you can challenge the decision. The way you go about this is different to the process for other benefits so for further information contact the Carers UK Adviceline.

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Child Tax Credit (CTC)

Who can claim CTC?

You may be entitled to CTC if you are responsible for a dependent child or qualifying young person.

A dependent child is someone aged under 16. Between their 16th birthday and the following 31st August, they will be treated as a qualifying young person without the requirement to be in education or training. To continue to be treated as a qualifying young person after that date, they must be under 20 and in full-time, non-advanced education or approved, unwaged, training. If they are 19 they must have been accepted or enrolled onto the education or training course before they turned 19.

How much is CTC?

If you (or any partner) are receiving Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit you will automatically receive the maximum amount of CTC that you are entitled to.

If you (or any partner) are not in receipt of any of these benefits, then HMRC will carry out a calculation based on your (and any partners) income and capital to work out whether you are entitled to CTC, and if so how much.


Note: If you make a new claim for Child Tax Credit on or after the 6th of April 2017, and if all of your children (even if you have more than 2) were born before 6th April 2017, you will be able to get an element for all of your children. However, you won't be able to get an element for any third or subsequent children you have who are born on or after 6th April 2017 . This is unless an exception applies.

If you are already receiving Child Tax Credit , an amount will not be included for any third or subsequent children born on or after 6 April 2017. This is unless an exception applies.

If you are already receiving Child Tax Credit and already have three (or more) children, you will not have any of your Child Tax Credit taken away. (However if you then go on to have further children on or after the 6th of April 2017 you will not receive an amount for them).


CTC are complicated to work out so for further information contact the Carers UK Adviceline.

Note: If your child or qualifying young person is receiving any Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment this can increase the amount of CTC that you are entitled to.

How do I claim CTC and report a change in my circumstances?

In England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland you can contact the Tax Credits Helpline on 0345 300 3900 to claim and to report a change in your circumstances.

What happens if I disagree with a CTC decision?

If you disagree with a CTC decision you can challenge the decision. The way you go about this is different to the process for other benefits so for further information contact the Carers UK Adviceline.

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Child Benefit

You could be entitled to Child Benefit if you are responsible for a dependent child or qualifying young person (see above).

Child Benefit is paid at a set rate unless your (or any partner’s) income is over £50,000. If your (or any partner’s) income is over £50,000 contact the Carers UK Adviceline for further information.

For the eldest or only child or qualifying young person the rate is £20.70 per week. For each additional child or qualifying young person you get an extra £13.70 per week.

In England, Wales and Scotland you can claim by contacting the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100 or you can download a Child Benefit claim form online.

In Northern Ireland you can claim by contacting the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100 or you can claim online.

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