Working Tax Credit

Eligibility 

Whether you can get Working Tax Credit depends on: 

  • the hours of paid work you do each week 

  • your income and circumstances 

New Working Tax Credit claims 

Working Tax Credit has been replaced by Universal Credit for most people. 

You can only make a new claim for Working Tax Credit if you: 

  • get the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it 

  • got or were entitled to the severe disability premium in the last month, and you are still eligible for it 

If you cannot make a new claim for Working Tax Credit, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit (or Pension Credit if you and your partner are State Pension age or over). 

Hours you work 

You must work a certain number of hours a week to qualify: 

Aged 25 to 59 

At least 30 hours 

Aged 60 or over 

At least 16 hours 

Disabled 

At least 16 hours 

Single with one or more children* 

At least 16 hours 

Couple with one or more children* 

Usually, at least 24 hours between you (with one of you working at least 16 hours)  

*A child is someone who is under 16 (or under 20 if they are in approved education or training). 

Use the tax credits calculator to check if you work the right number of hours. 

You can still apply for Working Tax Credit if you are on leave

Exceptions for couples with at least one child 

You can claim if you work less than 24 hours a week between you and one of the following applies: 

  • you work at least 16 hours a week and you’re disabled or aged 60 or above 

  • you work at least 16 hours a week and your partner is incapacitated (getting certain benefits because of disability or ill health), is entitled to Carer’s Allowance, or is in hospital or prison 

What counts as work 

Your work can be: 

If you are self-employed  

Some self-employed people are not eligible for Working Tax Credit. To qualify, your self-employed work must aim to make a profit. It must also be commercial, regular and organised. 

This means you may not qualify if you do not: 

  • make a profit or have clear plans to make one 

  • work regularly 

  • keep business records, such as receipts and invoices 

  • follow any regulations that apply to your work, for example having the right licence or insurance 

If the average hourly profit from your self-employed work is less than the National Minimum Wage, HM Revenue and Customs may ask you to provide: 

  • business records 

  • your business plan - find out how to write a business plan 

  • details of the day-to-day running of your business 

  • evidence that you have promoted your business - such as advertisements or flyers 

Your pay 

The work must last at least four weeks (or you must expect it to last four weeks) and must be paid. 

This can include payment in kind (for example farm produce for a farm labourer) or where you expect to be paid for the work. 

Exceptions 

Paid work does not include money paid: 

  • for a ‘Rent a Room’ scheme (less than £7,500 or £3,750 for joint owners) 

  • for work done while in prison 

  • as a grant for training or studying 

  • as a sports award 

Your income 

There is no set limit for income because it depends on your circumstances (and those of your partner). For example, £18,000 for a couple without children or £13,100 for a single person without children - but it can be higher if you have children, pay for approved childcare or one of you is disabled. 

See also: 

For further information: