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: 

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

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 (external link) depends on your circumstances. 

Use the tax credit calculator (external link) to work out what you can get. 

How to claim 

You can: 

Update your claim by reporting a change in your circumstances online or by phone (external link)

When to claim

Tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) (external link) 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.