Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit is replacing many benefits, including Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

You can only make a claim for Working Tax Credit if you already get Child Tax Credit.

If you cannot apply for Working Tax Credit, you can apply for Universal Credit instead.

You might be able to apply for Pension Credit if you and your partner are State Pension age or over.

What Help Is Available?

We have a welfare benefits team who provide advice and support to help you navigate your way through the benefit system and assist people on low incomes. Email the Welfare Team.

We can help you to:

  • Identify unclaimed benefits
  • Assist you in claiming
  • When appropriate, we will represent you at appeal tribunals
  • Provide support and information about the changes to the Benefit system including  PIP, Benefit Cap and Universal Credit
  • Provide information on managing your income.

We are here to help and we work closely with our Income Team.

Who Can Claim Working Tax Credit?

Lone Parents

Lone parents aged 16 or over with at least one dependant child, working 16 hours or more a week.

Couples with children: 

Couples aged 16 or over with at least one dependant child, and 

  • One of the couple is working 24 hours or more a week, or 
  • Both are working a total of 24 hours or more a week as long as one of them is working 16 hours or more a week, or
  • One of the couple is working 16 hours or more a week, and the other is incapacitated*, in hospital or in prison, or
  • At least one of the couple is working 16 hours or more a week, and either of them is entitled to Carers Allowance.

Disabled Workers:

  • Couples aged 16 or over, where one (or both) is classed as a disabled worker and that person works 16 hours or more a week, or 
  • Single people aged 16 or over who are classed as a disabled worker, who work 16 hours or more a week. 

To check whether a person counts as a disabled worker, use the tax credits disability helpsheet from HMRC.

Age 60 plus: 

  • Couples, where one is aged 60 or over working 16 hours or more a week, or 
  • Single person aged 60 or over, working 16 hours or more a week.


  • Single people aged 25 or over, who are working 30 hours or more a week, or 
  • Couples where at least one is aged 25 or over and works 30 hours or more a week.

Note that Working Tax Credit is a means tested benefit. This means that you don't automatically qualify for a payment. Other factors, including your income, are taken into account. Use the Tax Credits General Enquiries page to get an idea as to whether or not you may qualify.

Who Can Qualify For Childcare Costs?

  • Lone parents must work 16 hours or more a week to claim help with childcare costs.
  • Couples can only get help with childcare costs if the claimant and their partner both work 16 hours or more a week.

But only one partner in a couple has to work 16 hours or more if the other is:

  • incapacitated*
  • in hospital
  • in prison - serving a custodial sentence or remanded in custody awaiting trial or sentence
  • entitled to Carer's Allowance - even if they don't get any payments because they receive other benefits instead. 

Incapacitated - getting Contributory Employment and Support Allowance for 26 weeks or more (or on a credits only claim); or Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance or Severe Disablement Allowance; or, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support with a disability premium.

Self Employed?

If you are self-employed then you are expected to be 'organised, developed and regular.' This means that you will be expected to be working for either 16, 24 or 30 hours per week, earning the appropriate minimum wage and you must provide evidence of this. If you are found not to be working the necessary hours or earning less than the appropriate minimum wage you will not be entitled to Working Tax Credit (WTC) as a self employed person.

This has applied to new claimants since April 2015 as part of an update to the Working Tax Credit Regulations, and HMRC are to review existing self-employed claimants of WTC. For existing claimants found not to be in self-employment, their WTC award would end and there could even be an overpayment.

Tax Credits claim forms are available from HMRC, or call the helpline on 0345 300 3900

An extensive guide to Tax Credits is provided by revenuebenefits, which includes links to leaflets.