Working Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit (WTC) is for people over the age of 16 who:

  • work and have a low income
  • work and have a disability.

If you are making a new claim, you may need to apply for Universal Credit instead of WTC. This depends on where you live.

The benefit cap will not affect you if:

  • you or your partner are already getting WTC
  • you are entitled to WTC, but are not getting a payment for some reason.

This is called being awarded a nil entitlement. So it is worth finding out whether you qualify for this benefit. Contact a welfare rights adviser for more information.

Who can claim?

To claim WTC, you must:

  • be working for a certain number of hours each week, either for an employer or for yourself (if you are self-employed)
  • have an income below a certain level, or have a disability that would place you at a disadvantage if you tried to get a new job.

If you are aged between 16 and 24, you can only claim WTC if you have a child or if you have a disability. You must also work at least 16 hours per week.

If you are off work because of illness, you may still be able to claim WTC for up to 28 weeks.

How much you could get

WTC includes a basic amount of up to £1,960 a year. There are also extra payments (called elements) for people in certain situations. These include:

  • a single parent element
  • a disability element
  • a childcare element.

How to claim

Call HMRC Tax Credit Office on 0345 300 3900 or use textphone 0345 300 3909. Or you can use an online tool at

You will need to answer a few questions. If it looks like you qualify, you will be able to order a claim form. It will take up to 2 weeks for the form to arrive.

If there are changes in your family or work life, you must report them to the Tax Credit Office.

Back to If you are unable to work or on a low income

Support from your work

You may be able to get financial help from the government if you are unable to work because of cancer.

Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance is a benefit for people under retirement age who cannot work because of illness or disability.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment for people who are on a low income or out of for work.

Income Support

Income Support is a benefit that helps people on a low income pay basic living costs.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Jobseeker’s Allowance can give you a weekly income if you are unemployed and looking for work.