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Child tax credits - how much you can get

This advice applies to Scotland

Universal Credit has replaced child tax credits for most people. Before you make a claim, you should check if you can get child tax credits. You might need to claim Universal Credit instead. 

If you’re responsible for any children or young people born before 6 April 2017, you can get up to £3,900 a year in child tax credits for your first child and up to £2,845 a year for each of your other children until they turn 16.  

You can keep claiming until they’re 20 if they stay in approved education or training.

If you have any children after 6 April 2017, you can only get child tax credits for them if they're your first or second child.  You could get £2,845 a year for each child.

There are some exceptions to this rule, for example if you’re expecting twins or triplets - check the exceptions on GOV.UK.

You don't need to be working to claim child tax credits - how much you'll get depends on your circumstances. To work out your claim, HMRC looks at:

  • your income from the previous tax year (what you earned for the 12 months up to 5 April)
  • how many children, or young people in approved education or training live with you
  • when your children were born
  • if any of these children or young people are disabled

You won’t know exactly how much you’ll get in tax credits until your claim is processed - this can take up to 5 weeks.

If you're 18 or over, you can use the Turn2us benefits calculator before you apply to work out how much you can get. You’ll need to provide details of your income, working hours and childcare.

If you’d prefer to work this out with an adviser, contact your nearest Citizens Advice.

If your child is disabled

You’ll get extra child tax credits for each child or young person you’re responsible for who either:

  • gets Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Child Disability Payment, or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • is certified blind (or is within 28 weeks of your claim)

This will be £3,435 a year extra, on top of the normal amount, or £4,825 if they get either:

  • the highest rate care component of DLA
  • the higher rate of Child Disability Payment
  • the enhanced rate daily living component of PIP
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