How much you get depends on a number of factors including your age and how many hours you work.
Here we explain exactly how the benefit works, who is eligible, why you can’t claim it with Universal Credit, and how to apply.
How does Working Tax Credit work?
Working Tax Credit is paid out either every four weeks, or every week, depending on how often you want to receive it.
There are two main elements, a basic amount which pays up to £1,960 per year, and an extra amount which is known as an ‘element’.
The element part of the payment is worked out by looking at your circumstances and for a couple applying together, or a single parent, you could claim up to £2,010 per year.
If you work at least 30 hours a week you could claim up to £860 per year and if you pay for childcare you could get up to £122.50 for one child or £210 for two children per week.
If you have a disability you could claim up to £3,090 and if it’s a severe disability you could receive an extra £1,330.
Are you eligible for Working Tax Credit?
To be eligible for Working Tax Credit you need to be aged 16 or over, or 25 or over if you do not have children or a disability.
There is no set limit for your income in order to get Working Tax Credit as it depends on income and it can be higher if you have children, pay for childcare, or you or your partner is disabled.
However, if your household income is £6,420 or below per year you will be eligible for the full amount of Working Tax Credit. Anything you earn above this amount will reduce the amount you can apply for.
The amount of hours you work per week are taken into account when calculating the credit.
For those aged 25 to 59, you need to work at least 30 hours a week to qualify. For those aged 60 or over, those who are single with a child under the age of 16, or those who have a disability, this falls to 16 hours a week.
Couples with children need to work 24 hours between them, with one member of the couple working at least 16 hours, in order to qualify.
The type of work you do will affect your ability to get Working Tax Credit. You need to be working for someone else, as a worker or employee, you can be self-employed, or you could be working as a mixture of the two.
There are some exceptions to this and you can’t use money earned from the ‘Rent a Room’ scheme as employment, you can’t use work done while in prison, or work completed as a grant for training or studying, or as a sports award.
For self-employed workers, in order to qualify for credit your work needs to be making a profit and it needs to be, commercial, regular and organised.
It’s possible to receive Working tax Credit when you’re on leave from work, such as if you are on sick leave, you’re between jobs, or you’re on maternity leave.
People who lose or leave their jobs can receive Working Tax Credit for four weeks, those on maternity or adoption leave can receive it for the first 39 weeks of the leave.
Those on paternity leave can receive the credit during their ordinary paternity leave, and those on additional paternity leave can receive it up to their partner’s 39th week of maternity leave.
If someone is off sick from work they can receive the credit for the first 28 weeks, for someone on strike it’s 10 days, those laid off work will get it for four weeks and if you’re suspended from work you can get it during the suspension period.
Can you get Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit?
You cannot apply for Working Tax Credit and Universal Credit at the same time.
Therefore if you live in an area of full service Universal Credit you will need to apply for it instead.
To check if your area has full service Universal Credit, check the updated list on the government’s website.
Universal Credit replaces a number of benefits, including jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit, and income-related employment support allowance.
It is being rolled-out across the country and more than 60 areas started a full service last month.
How do you apply for Working Tax Credit?
If you’re applying for Working Tax Credit for the first time you need to order a form to fill in, which you can do on the government’s website.
You can also call the tax office to order a form, or if you have any other questions, on 0345 300 3900 between Monday and Friday, 8am to 8pm, on Saturday between 8am to 4pm, or on Sunday between 9am and 5pm.
This can take up to two weeks to arrive and a new claim up to five weeks to process.
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