Child benefit and tax credits

Information for families of babies born premature or sick on child benefit and tax credits.

Child Benefit

Child Benefit is a regular payment made to anyone raising a child. You may have to explain that your baby has arrived early.

Who can claim

Most people raising children can claim Child Benefit, even if they have a good income. You can claim it for each qualifying child, as well as for the new baby.

Child Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit is a regular payment for families with children. Despite the name, it is not actually deducted from your tax. It is paid directly to the person caring for the child and the amount depends on your family circumstances and your income. It is in addition to Child Benefit.

Who can claim

You might get Child Tax Credit for your new baby and for other dependent children in your household. You do not have to be working and there is an upper income limit. 

It’s worth checking to see if you qualify. Many families do qualify, even if both parents work. You might also be able to get Working Tax Credit (see below).

Working Tax Credit

Despite its name, Working Tax Credit is not a tax, or a deduction off your tax bill. It is a payment made by HM Revenue and Customs into your bank account and is calculated alongside Child Tax Credit.

You might be able to get help with childcare costs as part of Working Tax Credit. If you qualify, you may also be eligible for a range of other benefits for people on a low income.

Who can claim

Working Tax Credit is meant to support people who are in work and are on a low or moderate income. You can claim, whether you are employed or self-employed. 

If you are on maternity or paternity leave, you might be able to claim Working Tax Credit before you go back to work.

As a parent on a low income, you can apply if you are aged 16 years or over, and if you or your partner work at least 16 hours per week. 

Whether you qualify and how much you get will depend on your household income, how many hours you work and your circumstances.

Where you can find out more about these

The information on this page is more than two years old