Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Changes: Two Child Limit
Two Child Limit
What's happening?

From 6th April 2017 the Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Regulations are changing to impose a limit of two child elements / child allowances in a CTC / HB / UC assessment – although exceptions will apply.

This means that for most families who have a third or subsequent child on or after 6th April 2017 they will see no increase in their CTC / HB / UC award to help them support that child.


  • No family will see a reduction in their benefit entitlement in April due to this measure.

  • This is not affecting Child Benefit – so any parent who has their third, fourth, fifth etc child on or after 6th April 2017 can still get any extra Child Benefit they are entitled to.

  • The families most affected by this measure will be those excluded from the Benefit Cap – as the Benefit Cap generally affects families with three or more children.

  • Where a third, fourth, fifth etc child is disabled and on DLA and/or the parents are paying child care in order to work, a disabled child element/premium and/or child care costs will still be included in the CTC / HB / UC award even if there is no child element / child allowance in respect of that child.

  • Even if a child allowance is not included for the third, fourth, fifth etc child in the HB award, the child will still be allocated to a bedroom under the Bedroom Tax / LHA size criteria rules.

  • Families with three or more children will not be able to make a new claim for Universal Credit on or after 6th April 2017 - although a temporary measure this is expected to last until end October 2018.

  • Most families will not see an increase in their CTC / HB / UC for any child born on or after 6th April 2017 if they already have two child elements / allowances in the award – although exceptions will apply*.

*The exceptions are for multiple births, adoption, formal caring and children born following non-consensual sex – click below for more details.

For more information about how this rule affects each benefit click on the links below:

What about Council Tax Support/Rebate?
It will be up to each Local Authority to amend their scheme to take account of these changes if they wish to do so.

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