Eligibility depends on your age and how many hours of paid work you do a week. Your income and circumstances will also affect how much you get.
You must be 16 or over to qualify. You must be 25 or over if you don’t have children or you don’t have a disability.
Hours you work
You must work a certain number of hours a week to qualify.
|Circumstance||Hours a week|
|Aged 25 to 59||At least 30 hours|
|Aged 60 or over||At least 16 hours|
|Disabled||At least 16 hours|
|Single with 1 or more children||At least 16 hours|
|Couple with 1 or more children||Usually, at least 24 hours between you (with 1 of you working at least 16 hours)|
A child is someone who is under 16 (or under 20 if they’re in approved education or training).
Exceptions for couples with at least one child
You can claim if you work less than 24 hours a week between you and one of the following applies:
- you work at least 16 hours a week and you’re disabled or aged 60 or above
- you work at least 16 hours a week and your partner is incapacitated (getting certain benefits because of disability or ill health), is entitled to Carer’s Allowance, or is in hospital or prison
What counts as work
Your work can be:
If you’re self-employed
Most self-employed people are eligible for Working Tax Credit.
You won’t be eligible if the Tax Credit Office believes your self-employed hours are uncommercial or unprofitable. For example, you may not qualify if you don’t:
- make a profit
- have good business records
- work regularly
- try to expand your business
- follow any regulations, eg by not having the right insurance if you’re a driver
You may be investigated if the average hourly profit from your self-employed time is less than the National Minimum Wage. The Tax Credit Office will ask you to provide:
- business records
- other details, like a business plan, if they need more information, eg because you’ve just started self-employment
Contact the Tax Credit Office if you don’t know whether your self-employed time is eligible.
The work must last at least 4 weeks (or you must expect it to last 4 weeks) and must be paid.
This can include payment in kind (eg farm produce for a farm labourer) or where you expect to be paid for the work.
Paid work does not include money paid:
- for a ‘Rent a Room’ scheme
- for work done while in prison
- as a grant for training or studying
- as a sports award
There’s no set limit for income because it depends on your circumstances (and those of your partner). For example, £18,000 for a couple without children or £13,100 for a single person without children – but it can be higher if you have children, pay for approved childcare or one of you is disabled.
You get a basic amount and extra (known as ‘elements’) on top of this.
How much you get depends on things like your circumstances and income.
The basic amount is up to £1,960 a year.
|You’re a couple applying together||Up to £2,010 a year|
|You’re a single parent||Up to £2,010 a year|
|You work at least 30 hours a week||Up to £810 a year|
|You have a disability||Up to £2,970 a year|
|You have a severe disability||Up to £1,275 a year (usually on top of the disability payment)|
|You pay for approved childcare||Up to £122.50 (1 child) or £210 (2 or more children) a week|