As of January 2013 Child Benefit is withdrawn from households through an "income tax charge" where someone in the household has an income of over £50,000 a year. The charge will be applied gradually for households with an income of between £50,000 and £60,000 so that only households where someone has an income of over £60,000 a year will cease to gain from Child Benefit at all. For more information on this see the HMRC pages here
Child Tax Credit (CTC) is the main form of financial support from the Government if you’re bringing up children while you are a student. You don’t have to be working to claim CTC and if you have a child with a disability you may receive more CTC.
CTC is means-tested so how much you receive will depend on you and your partner’s income, if you have one, in the tax year. Most student income, including the student loan, is disregarded except for some grants and allowances for dependants. This is different from means-tested welfare benefits.
Getting CTC may entitle you to other help. This may vary depending where you live in the UK. For more information on this see HMRC's page on other help.
Working Tax Credit (WTC) is paid to people in work if they are on low wages. WTC is means-tested so how much you receive will depend on you and your partner’s income, if you have one, in the tax year. Most student income, including the student loan, is disregarded, except for some grants and allowances for dependants.
Students and partners of students can claim but either you, or your partner, must meet certain conditions:
If you are a single parent, work at least 16 hours per week, and have a dependant child
If you are a couple, in most cases to qualify, your joint working hours will need to be at least 24 hours per week i.e. if you both work your joint weekly hours must be at least 24 hours with one of you working at least 16 hours per week. If only one of you works that person must be working at least 24 hours per week
One partner works 16 hours and the other is entitled to Carer’s Allowance
Couples where one partner is working at least 16 hours a week and the other partner is either incapacitated, in hospital or in prison
Have a disability and meet certain conditions and work 16 hours or more per week
Be aged over 25 and working at least 30 hours per week or 16 hours a week if you are entitled to the ‘disability element’ of WTC
From the time that you claim WTC the paid work you do must be expected to continue for at least four weeks. As a medical student you’ll probably not be able to work as much as 16 hours a week, and certainly not 30 hours a week, during term time, but if you do fall into one of the categories of people who can claim and you work the required number of hours for at least four weeks you may be able to claim during the summer vacation at least.
Getting WTC may entitle you to other help. This may vary depending where you live in the UK. For more information on this see HMRC's booklet on other help.
WTC can help meet up to 70% of registered or approved childcare costs if you have dependant children.
This means that the maximum help you can get for your childcare is:
But you won't necessarily get the full £122.50 or £210 a week - the actual amount you get will depend on your income. The lower your income, the more tax credits you can get.
To be eligible to apply for the childcare element you must be either:-
A lone parent working at least 16 hours a week.
Couples where both partners work at least 16 hours each a week. Unfortunately being a full time medical student does not count as being in full-time work.
Couples where one partner is working at least 16 hours a week and the other partner is either incapacitated, in hospital or in prison.
If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you have the choice of whether to take the Childcare Grant/ Childcare Allowance through your student funding package or the WTC Childcare Element but you can’t claim both.
For Student Finance England you can get up to 85% of your childcare costs. The maximum you can get is:
The amount you’ll get depends on: