Two-child limit on benefits: are you going to be affected?

Guardian readers and Sarah Marsh
We want to hear from pregnant women and their families who are expecting their child this week or later in April Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

From Thursday (April 6) child tax credits and universal credit across the UK will be restricted to the first two children in a family. This measure will affect all households with two or more children that have an additional child after this date.

Analysis by consultancy Policy in Practice reveals a low-income family whose third or additional child is born before midnight on Wednesday would qualify for up to £50,000 in tax credit support over 18 years whereas a similar family whose third child is born on Thursday will miss out.

The government says it wants to save money and make the tax credit system fairer. It intends the two-child restriction to influence the behaviour of less well-off families by making them think twice about having a third child. But it also accepts there is no evidence to suggest this will happen. Critics say that at current birth rates, 100,000 third or subsequent children will not qualify for tax credit support over the next 12 months, inflating child poverty figures by 10% by 2020.

Share your experiences

We want to hear from pregnant women and their families who are expecting a third or subsequent child this week or later in April and will be affected by this change. Have the changes to child tax credit support influenced your decision? Did you know about the changes? Are you worried the change will affect your ability to support the new child? Have you tried to ensure your child is born before Thursday? Share your comments and stories with us.

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