Child Benefit

Child benefit is a benefit given almost universally to the primary carer of every child in the UK.

The amount payable in Child Benefit is £21.05 for the first child and £13.95 for each subsequent child.

If someone in the household has an income of over £50,000 a year child benefit is offset by increased tax, unless you opt out of claiming the benefit  – see https://www.gov.uk/child-benefit-tax-charge for details.

Child Tax Credit

No new claims for Child Tax Credit can now be made, except for people entitled to Severe Disability Premium.  If you receive child tax credit get advice before claiming universal credit as you will lose your child tax credit and may lose money.

Child Tax Credit (CTC) is the main form of financial support from the Government if you’re bringing up children while you are a student. You don’t have to be working to claim CTC, and if you have a child with a disability, you may receive more CTC.

CTC is means-tested so how much you receive will depend on you and your partner’s income, if you have one, in the tax year. Most student income, including the student loan, is disregarded except for some grants and allowances for dependents. This is different from means-tested welfare benefits. You can find out about Child Tax Credit here.

Working Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit (WTC) is paid to people in work if they are on low wages. WTC is means-tested so how much you receive will depend on you and your partner’s income, if you have one, in the tax year. Most student income, including the student loan, is disregarded, except for some grants and allowances for dependents.

No new claims for Child Tax Credit can now be made except for people entitled to Severe Disability Premium.  If you receive child tax credit get advice before claiming universal credit as you will lose your child tax credit and may lose money.

Students and partners of students can claim but either you, or your partner, must meet certain conditions.

Please see the government pages on tax credits for more information.

Childcare element of WTC

If you already get tax credits, and need childcare you can add this to your claim, as this is not a “new claim”.

WTC can help meet up to 70% of registered or approved childcare costs up to a certain amount if you have dependent children.

This means that the maximum help you can get for your childcare is:

  • £122.50 per week (70% of £175) for one child
  • £210 per week (70% of £300) for two or more children.

However, you won’t necessarily get the full £122.50 or £210 a week – the actual amount you get will depend on your income. The lower your income, the more tax credits you can get.

To be eligible to apply for the childcare element you must be either:

  • A lone parent working at least 16 hours a week.
  • Couples where both partners work at least 16 hours each a week. Unfortunately being a full time medical student does not count as being in full-time work.
  • Couples where one partner is working at least 16 hours a week and the other partner is either incapacitated, in hospital or in prison.

Childcare Grant

If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you have the choice of whether to take the Childcare Grant/Childcare Allowance through your student funding package, or the WTC Childcare Element, but you can’t claim both.

For Student Finance England you can get up to 85% of your childcare costs. The maximum you can get for the 2018/19 academic year is:

  • up to £174.22 a week for one child
  • up to £298.69 a week for two or more children

The amount you’ll get depends on:

  • your household income
  • the cost of your childcare
  • the number of children who are dependent on you

Childcare Grant is explained on the GOV.UK site here.

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