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Third or further child(ren)

Updated: 19 Nov 2018
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If a third, or further child is born we may have to limit the personal allowances.
iStock - 3 children
Entitlement to Child Tax Credit has been limited to a maximum of two children.
Where a third or subsequent child is born, or joins your household, they are now not usually eligible for Child Tax Credit. However, in special circumstances [exemptions] it may be awarded for a third or subsequent child; this will be decided by HMRC.

How do I find out more about ‘special circumstances’?

Detailed information on ‘special circumstances’ can be found on the UK Government’s website GOV.UK
Details should be provided to HMRC to support your claim for Child Tax Credit. The Housing Executive will not request this information from you and cannot change Child Tax Credit entitlement decisions made by HMRC.

Will the changes affect Housing Benefit?

If a third, or further, child is born into or joins your household on or after 11 May 2017, we may have to limit the personal allowances [amount the government says you need to live on] which we can include when calculating your Housing Benefit entitlement.  

The changes will affect:

  • Ongoing Housing Benefit claims where a third or subsequent child joins the household on or after 11 May 2017; and
  • New Housing Benefit claims where entitlement starts on or after 11 May 2017 and where there are more than two children in the household.

Important note:

If you receive Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance Income Based, Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) or Guaranteed Pension Credit, your Housing Benefit entitlement will not be affected by these changes.
However, you must still advise Housing Benefit of any changes in your circumstances
[Tel: 03448 920 902 | Textphone 18001 03448 920 902]

Are there exceptions to this change?

If you have continuously received Housing Benefit from a date before 11 May 2017, and more than two children were already included in your claim, you will not be affected by this change unless a another child joins your household or you make a new Housing Benefit claim.  
If you have two or more children on your claim, and on or after 11 May 2017 another child joins your household, a further personal allowance (for the additional child) can only be included in the calculation of your Housing Benefit entitlement if the new child is included in your Child Tax Credit assessment.

How will the Housing Executive know if more than two children should be included in my Housing Benefit claim?

The Housing Executive will not be advised by HMRC if more than two allowances should be included for children in your household.  

Currently receiving Housing Benefit

If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit and a third or further child joins your household, you must provide us with a copy of your ‘Tax Credit Notification Letter’

New claim for Housing Benefit

If you want to make a new claim for Housing Benefit and you have more than two children in your household you must provide us with a copy of your ‘Tax Credit Notification Letter’.  

Tax Credit Notification Letter

Details of all children included in the Child Tax Credit assessment are listed on this notification letter.
If more than two children are included in the Child Tax Credit assessment, they will also be included in the calculation of your Housing Benefit entitlement even if you are not entitled to Child Tax Credit payments.
If you have not applied for Child Tax Credit, your Housing Benefit calculation will only contain a personal allowance for a maximum of two children in your household.
You can get a Child Tax Credit application form from HMRC.

Does this affect my claim for Housing Benefit in any other way?

This change only applies to the ‘personal allowances’ we can include for your household within the Housing Benefit calculation.  
Each child in the household will be counted when we determine the number of bedrooms you require and for awarding premiums; eg. disability premium.

How do I claim for Housing Benefit?

You can easily and securely make your application for Housing Benefit online today.

Further information / help

You can contact our Housing Benefit team (Mon-Fri: 8.30am – 5pm) on Tel: 03448 920 902 | Textphone 18001 03448 920 902.  
We are here to help.