Being able to claim Child Benefit or Universal Credit mainly depends on being able to meet the eligibility criteria. However, there are times when one qualifies for a benefit at the cost of another. This is the reason why, we aim to learn through this blog post, whether or not individuals can claim Child Benefit as well as Universal Credit at the same time. For this we will analyse how both state benefits affect each other or if they actually do; as well as how much to expect through Universal Credit payments for a child and how to remain eligible for both benefits.

Do I Still Get Child Benefit On Universal Credit?

Yes, you will still get your Child Benefit payments if you are on Universal Credit. If an individual is eligible for both benefits, Child Benefit will be paid separately to them; without affecting their affect Universal Credit claim or vice versa. 

If you are on Universal Credit, the only way your claim can affect other benefits is if you’ve reached the benefit cap. This usually happens when someone is claiming a Housing Benefit (or the housing element of Universal Credit). If you are one of those individuals, you may need to discuss with the DWP whether the benefit cap applies to you as well.

Assuming that the benefits cap does not apply to you, how your Child Benefit and Universal Credit claim will work out is that if you are eligible for Child Benefit and are already receiving payments, you are actually encouraged to mention the child (or children) as dependants when you file a Universal Credit claim so that you may receive the child element of Universal Credit. This means that an additional amount will be added to your claim for Universal Credit if they are responsible for a child.

If you claim Child Benefit, you need to be responsible for the child for whom you’re claiming the benefit; they may or may not live with you but you are the primary provider for them. However, in the case of claiming the child element of Universal Credit, the child should not only be dependent on you but should also be living with your primarily. If a child does not live with you most of the time, you may not be able to claim the additional child element for Universal Credit; however, your basic claim remains unaffected.

In addition to this, if someone receives Child Maintenance payments, these will also not have an impact on their Universal Credit claim.

If you are working and have a dependent child (or children), you can also get help for childcare costs through Universal Credit; so much so, that sometimes these payments can cover 85% of your childcare expenses. There is no minimum number of working hours for working parents in order to claim child care costs. However, in the case of couples, only one of them will be able to claim the benefit for their child.

It is also noteworthy at this point that a child who is under the age of 16 will qualify as a dependant for parents to claim Child Benefit or the child element of Universal Credit. You will only be able to claim benefits for children as your dependants if they are in full-time education, part of an approved training program or disabled.

How Much Can I Claim With The Child Element Of Universal Credit?

You will be able to claim Universal Credit as per the below classification, depending on the number of children you have:

Number of childrenAmount of Universal Credit
First child£282.50 (born before 6 April 2017) £237.08 (born on or after 6 April 2017)
Second child and any other eligible children£237.08 per child
Disabled or severely child£128.89 or £402.41

The child element for Universal Credit is a top up or amount that has been added to a claimant’s basic claim. The basic amount of Universal Credit that an individual receives depends on their personal circumstances and income (if any). 

For instance, someone who is single and younger than 25 years of age will be eligible for Universal Credit amounting to around £257 per month. Meanwhile, this amount will rise to around £509 for someone who is living with a partner and either one of them or both of them are above the age of 25.

If the claimant qualifies for support for housing or child care needs, the additional amount will be added to their basic claim.

How Can I Claim Universal Credit For My Child If They Don’t Live With Me?

You cannot claim Universal Credit for your child if they don’t live with you. Benefits for children can only be claimed by the parent with whom the children live and the parent who has the primary responsibility for them. In such a case where a child does not live with you, their primary responsibility will fall upon the parent that they live with and only they will be able to qualify for a benefits claim.

If both parents share the responsibility of a child, only of them will be able to claim the state benefit for the child as Universal Credit payments cannot be split up for shared responsibilities. However, both parents can choose to receive UC payments in alternate years.

If there is a dispute between both parents regarding the child’s custody, the authorities will consider which parent the child lives with most of the time or whose address is registered as the child’s main residence and that parent will become eligible to receive Universal Credit payment on behalf of the child.

Conclusion:

The discussion in this article helps us to draw the conclusion that if someone is claiming Child Benefit, they can still claim the child element of Universal Credit; without having their claim affected. However, it is essential for the child to be living with the claimant (in addition to being dependant). Otherwise, the claimant will not be able to receive the child element for Universal Credit; but their own eligibility for the basic amount of Universal Credit payments will not be affected.

FAQs: Do I Still Get Child Benefit On Universal Credit?

Is Universal Credit and Child Benefit the same?

No, Universal Credit and Child Benefit are completely independent benefits. While one can claim a child element for Universal Credit, it remains separate from their Child Benefit claim.

Do you lose Child Tax Credit on Universal Credit?

No, you do not lose Child Tax Credit on Universal Credit. The reason for this is that the general rule on this is that one cannot claim both benefits at the same time.

How long do you get Child Benefit?

You can continue receiving Child Benefit payments until your child is 16 years old; while under specific circumstances such as an apprenticeship or full-time education,  this can be extended until they are 20 years of age.

How long can you claim Universal Credit for a child?

You can claim Universal Credit for a child up until they are 19 years old; as long as they are dependent on you and can be counted as a Qualifying Young Person. This means that they must be in full-time education or approved training.

What benefits am I entitled to on Universal Credit?

If you receive Universal Credit, you may be able to get extra help for your living expenses. Some of these include health support, housing expense, child care costs, Cold Weather Payments, and support with travel costs.

References:

Claim Child Benefit: How it works – GOV.UK

Understanding Universal Credit – Children and childcare

Check if you can get Child Benefit – Citizens Advice

Child Benefit if your child lives with someone else | East Cambridgeshire District Council

Child benefit – Kinship – The kinship care charity