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

If you or your partner have a disability and usually work 16 hours or more a week, you could get extra Working Tax Credit. This is called the 'disability element'.

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Extra payments if you have a disability

To qualify for the disability element, you have to meet all of these conditions:

  • you must be working for 16 hours or more a week
  • you must have a disability that makes it difficult for you to get a job
  • you must be receiving, or have recently received, a qualifying sickness or disability-related benefit - or in certain circumstances National Insurance credits

If you're not sure if you qualify, you can:

  • check the 'Disability Helpsheet' by following the link below - this explains all the conditions you need to meet to qualify for the disability element
  • call the Tax Credit Helpline

Download the 'Disability Helpsheet' (PDF 151K)

Contact details for the Tax Credit Helpline

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If you have a severe disability

You might get one of the following:

  • Highest Rate Care Component of Disability Living Allowance
  • Higher Rate of Attendance Allowance
  • Enhanced Daily Living Component of Personal Independence Payment

If so, you may qualify for a further amount of Working Tax Credit because of your severe disability. This is called the 'severe disability element'.

You won't be able to get the severe disability element unless you qualify for Working Tax Credit. This means that you or your partner will need to be working a certain number of hours. This depends on your circumstances, but if you're disabled you'll normally have to work at least 16 hours a week.

If you're in a couple, the person with the severe disability doesn't have to be working. But one of you will still need to be working the minimum number of hours to qualify for Working Tax Credit.

Follow the link below to find out the minimum hours you need to work.

What counts as work for Working Tax Credit?

Disability Living Allowance rates on GOV.UK (Opens new window)

Attendance Allowance rates on GOV.UK (Opens new window)

Personal Independence Payment information on GOV.UK (Opens new window)

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How much will you get?

This tax year - 6 April 2013 to 5 April 2014 - on top of your basic Working Tax Credit you could get up to:

  • £2,855 a year, that is around £55 a week, if you qualify for extra payments because you have a disability
  • £1,220 a year, that is around £23 a week, if you qualify for extra payments because you have a severe disability
  • £4,075 a year, that is around £78 a week, if you qualify for both lots of extra payments

If you claim as a couple and both you and your partner have a severe disability, you can qualify for two extra payments of £1,220.

The amount you get also depends on other money you have coming in:

  • Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment don't count as income when your tax credits are worked out
  • other benefits like Carer's Allowance do count as income, and can reduce your tax credit payments

To find out more about how much you may get, you can use an online calculator or call the Tax Credit Helpline.

Tax credits calculator - find out how much you can get

Contact details for the Tax Credit Helpline

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How to claim

If you're not currently getting tax credits

If you now think you qualify for extra tax credits because of a disability, you should make a claim as soon as possible.

You should make a claim within one month of finding out you are entitled to a qualifying disability or sickness benefit. This is to make sure that you get your payments backdated to the earliest possible date.

To claim, fill in a claim form. You can only get a claim form by calling the Tax Credit Helpline.

Contact details for the Tax Credit Helpline

If you already get tax credits

If you now want to claim extra tax credits because of a disability, ring the Tax Credit Helpline. You should do this as soon as you know you're entitled to a qualifying sickness or disability related benefit. Contact the helpline within one month of finding out, to make sure that you get your payments backdated to the earliest possible date.

When your tax credits claim can be backdated

Contact details for the Tax Credit Helpline

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More useful links

How to claim tax credits

Carers and Disability Benefits on GOV.UK (Opens new window)

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