Why Has My Child Tax Credit Payment Gone Down?

If you have been claiming Child Tax Credit and are now concerned about why your payment has gone down, you will find help in the following blog post. As you read through the content, you will find a detailed discussion on the reasons why Child Tax Credit payments can go down and the amount to expect according to your circumstances.

Why Has My Child Tax Credit Payment Gone Down?

If you are wondering about the reason(s) why your payments for Child Tax Credits have gone down, it may be because there have been some changes to your family or work life that have caused this reduction.

You can claim the maximum amount of Child Tax Credit if your annual income is less than £17,005 in the 2022-23 tax year. If you have started to earn more than this amount, it could be the reason why your Child Tax Credit payments have gone down.

Some of the main reasons why Child Tax Credits can go down include the following:

  • your earnings have increased by more than £2,500
  • you have not renewed your claim for Child Tax Credits
  • you have been overpaid by the HMRC
  • you are no longer eligible for the disability element of your claim
  • your child is no longer eligible and has turned 16, 18 or 19 years of age
  • your child leaves their approved training course
  • your child stops living with you 
  • your childcare costs have been reduced
  • your childcare provider is no longer registered

However if you have not experienced any of these situations, you should get in touch with the Department for Work and Pensions to find out why your Child Tax Credit has gone down. It is possible that your payment was reduced in error or there was a miscalculation at their end which you can get corrected by speaking to the concerned officials.

How Is Child Tax Credit Calculated?

Child Tax Credit payments are primarily based on two factors:

  • the number of children the payment is being claimed for
  • whether the child (or children) for whom it is being claimed has a disability

Then, the parent’s or guardian’s income is taken into account before a payment amount is finalised. 

The table below shows the different elements of a Child Tax Credit claim during the 2022-2023 tax term:

Elements Of Child Tax Credit ClaimMaximum Amount
Family element: this is the basic element for families with one or two children£545
Child element: this is calculated as one for each child or young person£2,935
Disability element: this is calculated as one for each child registered as disabled£3,545
Severe disability element: this is calculated as one for each child who claims the Highest Rate Care Component of Disability Living Allowance£1,430

Do I Have To Inform HMRC If There Is A Change In My Living Conditions?

Yes, there are certain changes to your living conditions, personal and financial circumstances that you must declare before the HMRC if you are claiming Child Tax Credits. In addition to the above-listed situations, if you are faced with any of the following circumstances, you should inform the HMRC; especially since they can affect your Child Tax Credits claim:

  • there is a change in the claimant’s living circumstances such as starting or ending a relationship, moving in with a new partner, getting married or forming a civil partnership, permanently separating or having a divorce
  • the claimant’s child or partner dies 
  • their child is taken into custody
  • the claimant has a baby or takes responsibility for another child
  • the claimant starts or stops claiming benefits (this can be either for themselves or for a family member)
  • the claimant starts or stops having a disability which can make it difficult to get a job
  • the claimant gets a certification that their child is blind or their certification ends
  • the claimant’s working hours are reduced to less than 30 hours a week
  • they go out of the UK for 8 weeks or more
  • they leave the UK permanently or lose the right to reside in the UK
  • the claimant starts to work for less than 16 hours while claiming childcare costs
  • changes in bank details, personal or work address, childcare provider, or the claimant’s gender

You must report these changes to the HMRC within a month of their occurrence or you could face a fine of up to £300. Most changes can be communicated to the authorities online using your Government Gateway user ID and password.


The above article explains the different situations under which Child Tax Credit payments can be reduced. One of the primary reasons could be that a previous overpayment is being adjusted due to which your Child Tax Credit claim has gone down and will go back to the regular amount once the overpaid amount is adjusted.


Report changes that affect your tax credits – GOV.UK

Tax Credits are changing in April – here are the new annual payment rates and thresholds

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