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Home schooling and tax credits

(15 Posts)
vitalmum Tue 30-Jul-13 13:16:05

My 18 year old was not able to take his three A2 levels this summer due to ill health. He does not want to go back to school but would prefer to study at home for them with the help of tutors (perhaps a couple of hours per subject per week to sort out any problems encountered). There would always be a parent at home to supervise that the work was being done and we have agreed he would need to study as though he was at school.

Can anyone advise how tax credits (and child benefit) would be affected by this plan? Will we still be eligible? If not, what do we need to do to be eligible? I would be interested to hear from anyone in a similar situation with regard to the tax credits and/or the home schooling. Thanks.

FannyMcNally Tue 30-Jul-13 13:22:10

But your son isn't a child so why should you get child benefit? Dd2 is in the same position but it wouldn't occur to me think of a way to claim benefits still. The is no reason why he shouldn't be working and bringing an income into the house even though he is studying. Most teenagers work from 16 onwards unless they have indulgent parents don't they? (Yes dd2, I'm looking at you slumped on the settee)grin

delegate308 Tue 30-Jul-13 15:05:11

I thought though, if they were in full time education, that those benefits were still payable up to the age of 19?

morethanpotatoprints Tue 30-Jul-13 15:09:34

Benefits are paid up to age 20 in some cases.
The fact that your ds hasn't been H.ed until now may raise further questions. But as long as he is in full time education working at no higher than level 3 (A level) you are entitled.
Both my ds were at school and I received all benefits we were entitled to until they left education.
DD is 9 and H.ed and we get cb and tc for her.

IslaValargeone Tue 30-Jul-13 15:10:01

He'd need to be at school to have any chance of eligibility. Home educating will not carry any clout with regard to claiming benefit.

IslaValargeone Tue 30-Jul-13 15:15:06

Just to clarify with regard to what morethan said, if your child was 9 like hers obviously you'd still get CB etc, but an 18 year old 'adult' withdrawing from full time education to suddenly home educate will not get benefits.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 30-Jul-13 17:01:16

Hello OP

I have just thought. If he is still 18 at the start of september/ academic year and doesn't have a level 3 already he can enrol at your local college for A levels with no cost.
You will still receive any benefit that is paid whilst still in full time ed.
If you are low income you can also apply for travel, books, field trips, college bursaries etc.
Enrolment is usually end of July/Aug

AMumInScotland Tue 30-Jul-13 20:44:53

You can still claim for Child Benefit as if he was at school, but you may have to provide more information to convince them that he is studying fulltime.

Here is the link to the HMRC website page (though it doesn't have much detail)

And this is a copy of guidance for 'decision-makers' about how to decide if someone is eligible. The sections from DMG11092 onwards are the relevant ones, I think.

The earlier parts of the document talk about tax credits - have a look through it, but I think it implies that you are still eligible.

AMumInScotland Tue 30-Jul-13 20:47:44

Oh and - this one summarises the rest of it and says who you need to talk to (second page) if you find they don't understand the rules as applied to Home Education.

Saracen Tue 30-Jul-13 21:05:06

This website is also helpful:

vitalmum Tue 30-Jul-13 23:19:27

Thank you for your help. The links posted by AMumInScotland and Saracen were especially appreciated. smile

Saracen Wed 31-Jul-13 16:46:11

Good, I'm glad it was helpful. Good luck to him!!
PS You didn't ask about this, but...

There is certainly no need to supervise your son directly while he studies - unless of course there are particular circumstances which mean you and he feel it is desirable.

He also doesn't have to study as if he were at school, if he can find a way that works better for him. There is more flexibility available to home educated students, so take advantage of it! For example, subject to availability of test dates at exam centres, he could study for each exam successively instead of doing all three concurrently. He doesn't have to use tutors if he feels confident in his ability to prepare for the exams independently.

Here is a page with a link to an email list for families who are doing exams and other qualifications through home education. You might get help there with info on particular exams or general support on how to go about it:

FionaJNicholson Fri 02-Aug-13 15:18:48


I wrote the page Saracen linked. Your query has probably been resolved by now but do ask if you have any further questions. Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit are a bit of a misnomer, as benefit continues to be payable for "a qualifying young person". I received CB and CTC until my son turned 20. He was/is autonomously home educated, not taking any qualifications.

Donna1969 Mon 13-Nov-17 00:25:02

Hi, my son has asked to be homeschooled due to anxiety issues. I am wondering if anyone knows if I quit my job but my partner is still working will we still get tax credits. Do they ask why I am no longer working ?

Saracen Mon 13-Nov-17 12:03:13

Hi Donna, check the overall Tax Credits eligibility in terms of how many hours you and/or your partner work: So long as the requirement on the minimum hours being worked is met, no one will care why you have chosen to arrange things as you have.

How old is your son? If he is over 16 when you start home educating, you can't claim Tax Credits beyond Y11 for him as a young person who is continuing in education. If he starts home education before he is 16 then you will be able to carry on claiming Tax Credits until his 20th birthday if his studies qualify.

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