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If my only income was Social Security benefits, can I claim the child tax credit?
If some of your Social Security benefits are taxable, you can claim the child tax credit. The child tax credit reduces the tax you owe, so you must have some taxable income to claim the credit. If all your income was nontaxable Social Security, you won't have a tax liability to apply the credit to.
To qualify for the additional child tax credit, you must have earned income. If Social Security was your only income, you aren't eligible to claim this credit.