Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit – Exception to Two Child Limit in Cases of Non-Consensual Conception


  • The new policy on eligibility for Child Tax credit and Universal Credit will come into force on 6th April 2017, and limits the number of children that qualify to two per family.
  • Third and subsequent births on or after 6 April 2017 no longer qualify.
  • The limit also applies to new claims from November 2018.
  • After public consultation, the Government confirmed there would be exceptions for third and subsequent children where parents/carers face exceptional circumstances.
  • Persons claiming Child Tax Credit for more than two children, or qualifying young persons, born before 6 April 2017 will be unaffected.


  1. multiple births
  2. adoptions from local authority care
  3. non-parental caring arrangements, informal arrangements where a child or qualifying young person would otherwise be looked after by a local authority, or where claimant is responsible for a child or qualifying young person who has a child of their own
  4. non-consensual conception (claimant can provide evidence to claim exception if there is a criminal conviction or criminal injuries compensation award).

Role of Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Services/Approved third party organisations

Where there is no criminal conviction or CICA compensation award, claimants must provide confirmation from a third party that their circumstances are consistent with non-consensual conception/s, including within controlling and coercive relationships.

An approved third party can be a:

  • healthcare professional
  • social worker
  • specialist support worker
  • rape and sexual abuse support service staff
  • Independent Sexual Violence Advisers

(Requires confirmation that claimants don’t live with the child’s other parent.)

Member agencies of The Survivors Trust are regarded as an approved third party organisation for completion of the form. 

There is no requirement that organisations adopt this responsibility, however, they may feel offering this service is important. There is no requirement to investigate a claim or provide further evidence. Organisations are expected to follow internal policies and procedures.

The attached form and guidance are for use by claimants and third parties in connection with the exception for non-consensual conception. These are text copies only. Final production versions will be available on GOV.UK from 6 April 2017.