In this section:
If you or your partner can't work because you're ill you may still be treated as working and be able to get Working Tax Credit. It will depend on what your usual working hours were before you went on sick leave, and the length of time you're off work.
On this page:
Your usual working hours are the hours you worked every week before being 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.
You can carry on claiming Working Tax Credit for the first 28 weeks that you're off work. This is as long as you were working the minimum number of hours for your circumstances, immediately before going off work. One of the following will also need to apply:
The specific sickness or disability benefits are:
If you're not already claiming tax credits, you could make a claim for the first time if the above applies to you. To claim, you'll need to fill in a claim form. You can only get a claim form by calling the Tax Credit Helpline.
Tell the Tax Credit Office your usual working hours in Part 4 of the claim form.
Your Working Tax Credit payments could end if you don't go back to work after 28 weeks, even if you keep getting:
If you don't go back to work after 28 weeks, you must tell the Tax Credit Office within one month. If you don't you may be charged a penalty. You can contact the Tax Credit Office by calling the Tax Credit Helpline.