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Two Child Limit and Benefits

A limit to the number of children that you can be part of any benefit claim has been introduced.  Generally speaking, you can only make a claim for support for up to two children for Housing Benefit, Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit.

I am already getting some of the benefits above for more than 2 children.  Will this change?

If you’re already getting benefits for more than 2 children, then you’ll continue to get that support until your entitlement to those benefits end. 

How could this affect me?

  • You won’t be paid an additional amount for more than 2 children, unless your children were born before 6 April 2017 (on or before 6 April for Income Support) or special circumstances
  • If you’re getting Income Support with ‘dependents allowance’ for one or more children, and another child joins your household you need to tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

DWP will tell you if the amount of dependents allowance you get will change. This will depend on the new rules for claiming benefits for more than 2 children and your circumstances.

  • If you currently claim benefits or tax credits and aren’t moving to Universal Credit until a later date, you’ll continue to be paid an additional amount for each child you look after as long as you remain responsible for the same children and your circumstances remain the same. 

What if I have already claimed Universal Credit or Child Tax Credit?

If you claimed Universal Credit or Child Tax Credit in the previous 6 months but it was stopped for a period of time, you’ll get the same support if you re-claim, as long as you remain responsible for the same children and your circumstances remain the same.

Note: From 1 February 2019 you can only make a new claim for Child Tax Credit if you are in receipt of a Severe Disability Premium with either IS, JSA or ESA, or if not in receipt, have received a payment within the last month. This is because if you are getting a Severe Disability Premium you cannot currently claim Universal Credit, even if your circumstances change. You should, if eligible, keep claiming your existing benefits until you are told to claim Universal Credit.

You will be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and told when you should claim Universal Credit.

This is to make sure you don’t lose out financially when you move to Universal Credit. You will need to have been entitled to Severe Disability Premium within the month immediately before you move to Universal Credit.


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