Child tax credits - how much you can get

This advice applies to Scotland. See advice for See advice for England, See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Wales

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 £3,780 a year in child tax credits for your first child and up to £3,235 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 £3,455 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.

Cost of Living Payments

The government sent the last Cost of Living Payment of £299 during spring 2024. They haven’t announced any more payments. 

You should have got the Cost of Living payment of £299 between 6 and 22 February 2024. To get the payment you must have been entitled to a tax credit payment between 13 November and 12 December 2023.

If you didn’t get the last payment

If you think you should have received a Cost of Living Payment, you can report a missing payment on GOV.UK.

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, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Adult Disability Payment

  • is certified blind (or is within 28 weeks of your claim)

This will be £4,170 a year extra, on top of the normal amount, or £5,850 if they get either:

  • the highest rate of the care component of DLA

  • the higher rate of the care component of Child Disability Payment

  • the enhanced rate of the daily living component of PIP

  • the enhanced rate of the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment

Next steps

How to claim working and child tax credits

Check if a change affects your tax credits