What is the best helpline number for Child Tax Credit?

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Child Tax Credit can be claimed by any adult who is responsible for any child under 16 years old, or any young person under 20 years old who is still in full-time education. You do not need to be in work to claim Child Tax Credit; however, you cannot claim it while also claiming Universal Credit.

Who is Eligible for Child Tax Credit

There are several different elements to Child Tax Credit, and your individual circumstances determine which elements you are able to claim.

• The “family element” – a basic amount which every person who is eligible to receive the benefit will receive (currently up to £545)
• The “child element” – this is a part of the benefit that is payable per child that the claimant is responsible for (currently up to £2,780)
• The “disabled child element” – this is a premium element that is payable to the claimant for each disabled child they are responsible for, over and above the basic element and those for each child (currently up to £3,140)
• The “severely disabled child element” – this is an additional premium element payable to the claimant for each severely disabled child (currently up to £1,275)

Anyone can call the Child Tax Credit contact number to determine eligibility. The amount that you will receive as a claimant is calculated by determining which elements they are eligible for and adding them all together e.g. if the claimant is a parent with three children, one of whom is severely disabled, their entitlement would be:

Family Element + (Child Element x 3) + Disabled Child Element + Severely Disabled Child Element

You need to fill in a form to make a new claim for Child Tax Credit. You can get this form by calling the Child Tax Credit phone number 8am-8pm Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm on Saturdays and 9am-5pm on SUnday. When you call, please make sure you have to hand:

• Your National Insurance Number
• Your address, including post code, and your phone or mobile phone number

Your form may take up to two weeks to arrive, and it may take up to five weeks to process a new claim. When filling out the form, you may need proof of your income, bills, payslips, benefits, tax credits, childcare and your child’s education for the last three years.

Once you have an active claim, you can update the Tax Credits Office as to any changes in your circumstances by phoning the same number.

FAQs

How will I receive Child Tax Credit?

It will be paid into a single account, usually the bank account of the person responsible for the child(ren).

How often will I receive Child Tax Credit?

You will receive the payment every four weeks from the date the claim is made to 5 April every year. The claim needs to be renewed every year to make sure the payments continue to be made.

Will I always receive the same amount in Child Tax Credits?

No – this amount may change in line with changes in your circumstances, such as a child leaving full time education, the claimant’s income changing (e.g. by losing or getting a job) or by the claimant losing a partner.

You should report any changes that might affect your Child Tax Credit to the Tax Credit Office as soon as possible, as this will allow them to adjust the amount of money you receive. If you are unsure then call the Child Tax Credit number and ask.

What if someone else and I both care for a child? Can I still apply for Child Tax Credit?

The claimant for Child Tax Credit If you and another person who both care for a child live in separate households, then you should try to determine if you are the person with primary responsibility for them by looking at questions such as whether the child sleeps at your home, whether they keep their clothes and toys there, and whether you buy most of their food and clothing.

If you and a person living in a different household (such as yourself and your ex-partner) both have the child sleep at your house some of the time and pay for their food and clothes together, then you should both make a claim and the Tax Credit Office will decide which of you should receive the award.

What if I have primary responsibility for a child that is not my biological son or daughter?

You can claim Child Tax Credits for any child you are primarily responsible for caring for – whether they are your biological child, a family member such as a grandchild or younger sibling, a family friend you are looking after, or for a fostered or adopted child as long as you are not receiving money for them from your local council.

Who can claim for Child Tax Credit?

If you are a parent or carer of a child under the age of 16, you may be able to claim Child Tax Credit. Alternatively, if you are responsible for a person under the age of 20 who is on an eligible course of education, you may also be able to claim Child Tax Credit.

When do I stop receiving Child Tax Credit?

Usually, parents and carers stop receiving Child Tax Credit after their child turns 16, in the month of August. However, if your child goes into an eligible course of education, you may be able to continue receiving Child Tax Credit until they finish studying or until they turn 20. Call the Child Tax Credit telephone number and speak with a representative to learn more.

My child is under 20 – what courses are eligible for Child Tax Credit?

If you have a child under your care that is over 16 but under 20, you may be able to receive Child Tax Credit if they are undertaking eligible education.

At the time of writing, eligible courses include A Levels (and some equivalents), Home Education (if your child started studying at home before the age of 16), NVQs up to Level 3 (and equivalent courses), Scottish Highers and valid unpaid Traineeships in England. If you’re not sure if your child’s course is eligible for you to continue receiving Child Tax Credit, please contact the above Child Tax Credit helpline number to enquire.

Are there any changes I need to declare while receiving Child Tax Credit?

Yes. There are number of pieces of information that you will need to keep up-to-date to continue receiving the correct amount of Child Tax Credit. For example, if your child continues in an eligible course of education after the age of 16, as well as if your child begins or ends approved education.

You may also need to inform the Child Tax Credit team if your child joins or leaves a careers service or starts to receive their own benefits. If your child moves in with a partner, gets married or forms a civil partnership, you may also need to update the relevant department.

Finally, you should update the Child Tax Credit team when your child turns 18 or 19 and continues to study on an eligible course. Contact Child Tax Credits to inform them of this change.

Can Child Tax Credit be claimed by more than one household?

No. Only one household can claim for each child. If there are two parents living in different households, both of whom are responsible for the same child, only one will be able to claim Child Tax Credit for that child.

To find out who should claim Child Tax Credit, you should work out which parent or carer is main responsible carer for the child. The responsible party usually has the child live with them full-time or most of the time, keeps the child’s belongings at their home, and provides the child with meals and pocket money.

Can I claim for Child Tax Credit if I’m not working?

Yes. You do not need to be working to claim Child Tax Credit. Claiming for Child Tax Credit also should not affect your Child Benefits.

How do I qualify to claim for Child Tax Credit?

If you have at least three children, you qualify for Pension Credit (or your partner does) or you live in a Universal Credit Area, you can apply for Child Tax Credit. To start the application process call Child Tax Credits phone number on this page.

Please note: To find out if you live in a Universal Credit Area, view the ‘Universal Credit Map’ on the government website.

How will I be paid my Child Tax Credit?

Child Tax Credit is paid into the bank account of the parent or carer responsible for the child. Usually, payments will be made approximately every week or every four weeks. If you report that your circumstances have changed, your Child Tax Credit payments may change or stop.

How can I apply?

First, you may need to confirm that you are eligible to apply by filling in the ‘Get A Tax Credits Claim Form’ online form on the government website. Alternatively, you can confirm your details and eligibility by calling your local tax office.

After you have done this, you should receive the relevant form to apply for Child Tax Credit within a matter of days or weeks. Keep in mind, you may need some personal information to hand, such as your National Insurance Number, the amount of hours you work in a week, your annual income for the last tax year, details of the benefits you receive and any childcare payment details.

Once you receive the form, you will need to fill it in, following the provided instructions, and send the form to the address stated on the instructions.

How much Child Tax Credit will I be paid?

This depends on your circumstances, how many children you have and the ages of each of your children. You can find an estimate of how much credit you will receive by using the ‘Tax Credit Calculator’ on the government website. Alternatively, call the customer service number to get help working out how much Child Tax Credit you could receive.

Postal Addresses

For new claims:

HM Revenue and Customs – Tax Credit Office
Liverpool
L75 1AZ
United Kingdom

For updating existing claims:

HM Revenue and Customs – Tax Credit Office
Comben House
Farriers Way
Netherton
L75 1AX
United Kingdom

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