A problem shared ... Working Tax Credit
My husband works in a local newsagent 14 hours a week and I work eight hours a week in a local nursery, bringing our joint number of hours to 22. We have one child. We have both tried to increase our hours with our respective employers but they have no more hours available and we have now lost our Working Tax Credit. Is there anything we can do?
There may be. Since 6 April, couples who have at least one child and get Working Tax Credit will normally have to work at least 24 hours a week between them instead of just 16 hours to qualify for any payment. One of you must also work at least 16 hours a week.
However there are exceptions to the new 24-hour requirement. For example, if you or your partner are disabled in certain circumstances, if one of you is a carer or is in hospital or is over 60, you continue to qualify if one of you works 16 hours a week. It is your responsibility to tell the Tax Credit Office if you think you should continue to qualify, so if you think this may apply to you let the Tax Credit Office know as soon as possible.
Many of those who have their Working Tax Credits stopped may be entitled to other benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance - if you are working less than 16 hours and your partner is working less than 24 hours you may be entitled to a top up of JSA if your joint earnings come to less than £121/week. Also you may be entitled to other benefits such as free school meals or housing benefit and/or council tax benefit. If you would like a benefit check do contact your nearest CAB.
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Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
You'll find more information about all the changes on the Directgov website at www.direct.gov.uk or go to www.adviceguide.org.uk where you can also get contact details of your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau.