Tax credits and having a baby

If you have a baby, you might be able to: 

  • get more money - if you are already claiming tax credits, 

  • make a new tax credits claim - if you have not claimed tax credits before. 

You can only make a new claim for tax credits if you: 

  • get the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it, 

  • got or were entitled to the severe disability premium in the last month, and you are still eligible for it. 

If you cannot make a new claim for tax credits, you might be able to apply for Universal Credit or Pension Credit

What you can get 

Even though you have stopped work to have a baby you are entitled to get working tax credit for: 

  • the first 39 weeks of maternity (or adoption) leave, 

  • your period of ordinary paternity leave. 

To qualify, you must have been working at least 16 or 30 hours a week before your leave. The actual number of hours depends on your circumstances. 

Use the tax credit calculator to work out what you can get. 

How to claim 

You can: 

  • apply for tax credits - if you have not applied for tax credits before, 

  • update your claim - if you have already applied for child or working tax credit. 

Update your claim by reporting a change in your circumstances online or by phone

When to claim

Tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within one month of the birth so your claim can be backdated to the date of birth. If you do not, your tax credits will only be backdated by one month from the date of your claim.


Your baby is born 1 September. 

You tell HMRC on 1 January so your tax credits get backdated to 1 December. 

If you had told them by 1 October you would be getting tax credits from 1 September.