If you qualify for Universal Credit and have childcare costs, you might be able to claim back up to 85% of eligible childcare costs. In 2022/23 this is up to a maximum of £646.35 for one child, or £1,108.04 for two. These rates are due to increase to £951 for one child and £1,630 for two children from 29 June 2023.
This is compared with the 70% you could claim through the childcare costs element of Working Tax Credit.
To get the childcare costs element of Universal Credit, you must:
If you’re in a couple, your partner must also be in paid work. This is unless they can’t provide childcare because of a limited capability for work, or they’re caring for a severely disabled person.
You can claim the child element of Universal Credit for all qualifying children born before 6 April 2017.
If your children were born on or after 6 April 2017, you’ll only be able to claim for the first two. This is unless you had a multiple birth – or there are other limited exceptions.
If you’re getting Child Tax Credit and think you might be better off on Universal Credit you can choose to switch. However, it’s really important to get specialist benefits advice before you do this because once you’ve made a claim for Universal Credit you can’t go back to tax credits.
Start by using our Benefits Calculator or find a specialist benefits adviser using Advicelocal Opens in a new window