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You might not be in work for a short while - perhaps because you have a gap before starting your next job. If so, you may still be treated as working, and be able to get Working Tax Credit, depending on the hours you usually work.
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Your usual working hours were the hours you worked every week before you went off work.
To get Working Tax Credit, you need to work a minimum number of hours, depending on your circumstances and whether or not you have children.
To get Working Tax Credit, you must normally be aged 25 or over and work at least 30 hours a week. But you only need to work 16 hours or more a week if you are:
To get Working Tax Credit you need to be aged at least 16, and working the following hours:
So if you're in a couple and only one of you is working, that person must be working at least 24 hours a week.
You can sometimes still qualify if your joint hours are less than 24 a week - follow the first link below to find out more.
If your employer has no work for you and has laid you off, you can usually carry on getting Working Tax Credit. This is for between four to eight weeks. How long you can carry on getting Working Tax Credit depends on whether:
If you're off work on strike, you can carry on getting Working Tax Credit for the first ten working days that you're on strike. But you - or you and your partner - must have been working the minimum number of hours for your circumstances before going on strike.
If you're on strike for more than ten working days in a row, you won’t be able to get Working Tax Credit. You must let the Tax Credit Office know within a month. You can do this by calling the Tax Credit Helpline. You won't be able to claim Working Tax Credit until you have gone back to work.
If you're suspended from work while complaints or claims against you are looked into, you can carry on getting Working Tax Credit. But you - or you and your partner - must have been working the minimum number of hours for your circumstances before you were suspended.
If you're between jobs for less than four weeks, your Working Tax Credit payments will continue. But this is as long as you - or you and your partner - normally work the minimum number of hours for your circumstances.
If you reduce your weekly working hours to less than the minimum, or you stop work altogether, your Working Tax Credit will stop. But it doesn’t stop immediately - you'll get it for a further four weeks from the date of the change.
If you can't work due to sickness or incapacity, you may still be able to get Working Tax Credit.
If you're on maternity leave, you may get Working Tax Credit for up to 39 weeks. This is the first 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave and the first 13 weeks of any additional maternity leave.
If you're on adoption leave, you may get Working Tax Credit for up to 39 weeks. This is the first 26 weeks of ordinary adoption leave and the first 13 weeks of any additional adoption leave.
You may get Working Tax Credit for your two weeks of ordinary paternity leave.
You might take additional paternity leave if your partner chooses to go back to work. You may also get Working Tax Credit during your additional paternity leave - but only for the additional leave you take in the period that: