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'Incapacitated': what this means for Working Tax Credit

If you're a couple with children, with one partner working at least 16 hours a week and the other 'incapacitated', you could get Working Tax Credit. You could also get help with childcare costs. Find out what 'incapacitated' means for Working Tax Credit purposes, to help you check if it applies to you.

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The meaning of 'incapacitated' at a glance

'Incapacitated' for Working Tax Credit purposes means that you (or your partner) get certain benefits, or in certain circumstances receive National Insurance credits, because of ill health or disability.

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The benefits and credits that count

If you or your partner get any of the following, you're treated as incapacitated for Working Tax Credit purposes:

  • Disability Living Allowance (even if it has stopped because you're in hospital)
  • Attendance Allowance (even if it has stopped because you're in hospital)
  • Personal Independence Payment (even if it has stopped because you're in hospital)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance (even if it has stopped because you're in hospital)
  • Incapacity Benefit at the short-term higher or long-term rate
  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance - and you've been getting this for 28 weeks or more
  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance after you've had Statutory Sick Pay - and the combined period you've been getting these is 28 weeks or more
  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance after you've had Incapacity Benefit at the short-term higher or long-term rate, or Severe Disablement Allowance - and the combined period you've been getting these is 28 weeks or more
  • National Insurance credits because you have limited capability for work and your 12 months' entitlement to contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance has run out
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit with Constant Attendance Allowance (even if the Constant Attendance Allowance has stopped because you're in hospital)
  • War Disablement Pension with Constant Attendance Allowance or Mobility Supplement (even if the Constant Attendance Allowance has stopped because you're in hospital)
  • Housing Benefit with a Disability Premium or Higher Pensioner Premium
  • a vehicle under the Invalid Vehicle Scheme

Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance - help with working out the 28 week combined period

When working out how long you've been getting contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance, you can add together separate periods. You can also include periods where you got certain other benefits.

When looking back and working this out, you can include any periods that you got:

  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance - as long as they were no more than 12 weeks apart
  • Statutory Sick Pay - as long as they were no more than 8 weeks apart
  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance paid after you'd had Statutory Sick Pay - as long as they were no more than 12 weeks apart
  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance after you'd had Incapacity Benefit at the short-term higher or long-term rate, or Severe Disablement Allowance - as long as they were no more than 12 weeks apart

If you were getting Statutory Sick Pay, only include those periods in which you met the contribution conditions for contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance. This means that you'd paid enough National Insurance contributions to have qualified for contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance, had you not got Statutory Sick Pay. If you're not sure if this applies to you, you can call the Benefit Enquiry Line.

Contact details for the Benefit Enquiry Line on GOV.UK (Opens new window)

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More useful links

What counts as work for Working Tax Credit?

Help with childcare costs - do you qualify for extra tax credits?

You have a disability - can you get extra Working Tax Credit?

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