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You may be entitled to extra financial help when you are in employment. Whether you qualify and how much you get will depend on how much you earn and your personal circumstances.

Some people do not qualify for tax credits and child benefits because they are subject to immigration control.  You may be subject to immigration control if

  • you require leave to enter or remain in the UK 
  • your leave to enter or remain in the UK is subject to the condition that you must not have recourse to public funds.

Claiming benefits

To claim Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, you must be aged 16 or over and live in the UK.  Short absences abroad for holidays or on business will not affect eligibility.

Working Tax Credit

Working Tax Credit is a payment to top up your earnings if you are working on a low income.  Extra amounts are payable if you have a disability, if you work 30 hours or more a week, and where you have childcare costs.

Tax credits are usually calculated on a yearly basis and paid as part of your wages.  The amount that you get can vary if your circumstances change during the year i.e. if you have another child.  If you are a couple and are living together then you will need to make a joint claim. 

Child Tax Credit

This is available if you are responsible for a child or a young person, and have an income below a certain amount.  The amount you get will depend on how many children you have, and whether they have any disabilities.

Child Tax Credit is available whether or not you are in work and is paid to the main carer in a household.
Council Tax Benefit Housing Benefit

This is available to help pay for your rent and Council Tax.  You will be eligible for this if you have low income and low capital.

If you are from overseas or have recently come to live in the UK you may have difficulty claiming the benefit, depending on your immigration status.

Child Benefit

This is a benefit for people bringing up children and is paid for each child.  You can get this if your child is under 16 year, or 19 years if they are in full time education. 

If your have recently come from abroad then you will need to satisfy further rules. 

© Trades Union Congress 2007