Government provided benefits

Living in Europe | Day care, schooling & family related issues | United Kingdom

You may be entitled to receive financial help from the government to support your family in the form of Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits (CTC). You can apply for tax credits and benefits to help provide suitable care for your children while you are living and working or studying in the UK.

What are child benefits?

Child Benefits are a regular payment, every 4 weeks, which can be claimed by individuals earning salaries under £50,000 per annum, who are parents, guardians or main carers of children being raised in the UK.

The child must be under 19 and in full-time education. If you have children in higher education, you are not eligible to receive Child Benefits.

What are tax credits?

Tax credits are payments from the government to help with everyday costs. If you're responsible for at least one child or young person who normally lives with you, you may be eligible for Child Tax Credit (CTC).

If your child has a disability you may be eligible to claim a higher rate of CTC to provide better care.

Am I eligible?

There are certain criteria that apply when claiming Child Benefits and/or Tax Credits. You need to fulfil the below criteria when applying with HM Revenue and Customs.

To claim Child Benefit or Child Tax Credit (CTC) you must be responsible for at least one child or qualifying young person. The child should be under 16 years of age, and should normally live with you. You could be eligible to claim benefits for a child under 20 years of age if they are enrolled in full-time education on an applicable programme. In some cases you may be able to claim Child Benefit even if your child lives in another part of the EEA but is financially dependent on you.

To apply for Child Benefit or Tax Credits you must be ordinarily resident in the UK.

There are a number of different factors which may affect your access to government benefits, such as the time that you plan to stay in the UK and your personal circumstances.

If you are from the European Economic Area (and Switzerland) and have the right to reside in the UK, you will normally be able to apply for this type of financial support. Information on immigration and residency in the UK can be found in the Entry requirements section.

How do I apply?

Child Benefits

To claim Child Benefit you must apply online.

However, you will normally need your National Insurance number before you are able to apply. To find out about how to get a National Insurance number, visit our section on social security.

Ensure you have details of any child benefits you currently receive, including recent payments and any reference numbers.

Tax Credits

To claim Child Benefit you must fill complete an online form.

However, you will normally need your National Insurance number before you are able to apply. To find out about how to get a National Insurance number, visit our section on social security.

Useful Links

Find out if your family will need to apply for a visa.

Learn about National Insurance numbers.