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									Disability Rights UK Factsheet F50
How to claim your in-work
benefits
If you are awarded benefits or tax credits you must tell Jobcentre Plus, the
Tax Credit office and your local council of any changes in your circumstances
that affect your entitlements. Changes of circumstances include changes to
your:

      income
      hours of working
      partner moving in with you or moving out
      family circumstances, for example a child being born or leaving
       education

Tax credits

You can claim both child tax credit and working tax credit on the same form,
TC600, which comes with a booklet of notes called Getting your tax credits
claim form right (TC600 notes). You must read these notes in order to
complete the form correctly.

You can get form TC600 from Jobcentre Plus, offices of HM Revenue and
Customs (the Revenue) or the Tax Credit Helpline:

Telephone: 0345 300 3900.
Textphone: 0345 300 3909

If you meet the qualifying conditions, tax credits can be backdated for up to
one month.

Tax credit is affected by income during the current tax year or the previous tax
year. (The tax year starts on 6 April and ends on the following 5 April). Tax
credit is normally reduced if you have income above £6,420 a year, but the
reduction is based on whichever year’s income leads to the lower reduction.
This means that, next April, you may find that your tax credit award goes
down or even stops altogether. This is likely if your earnings in that tax year
are (going to be) higher than in the previous year – for example because you
have been on out-of-work benefits for long periods in the previous year. It may
also go down the following year and not settle at a regular amount until you
have been claiming for up to two years.
Please also note that From April 2012 there is a new disregard where current
year income is less than the previous year’s. If your current year income is
less than your previous year’s, the first £2,500 of the decrease is ignored.
Where the fall is less than £2,500, the higher previous year figure will apply. If
the fall is more than £2,500, the figure is the lower current year figure plus
£2,500.

When you start work and claim tax credit, you should receive a provisional tax
credit award soon after starting work. It is likely to be based on your income in
the last tax year and, if this is higher than your income in this tax year, it is
best to contact the Tax Credit Helpline to tell them your income details for this
tax year.

Your final tax credit award, when the Tax Credit office work it out at the end of
the tax year may be significantly lower than the provisional tax credit award if
your income this tax year, compared to your income in the last tax year,
increases by £10,000 a year or more. If you anticipate that this is likely to
happen, it is best to contact the Tax Credit Helpline as soon as you can to tell
them your income details for this tax year.

Changes of circumstances that you must tell the Tax Credit office
about

You must tell the Tax Credit office about any of the following changes within
one month of the change or you may have to pay a penalty. The changes are
if:

      you separate from your partner
      you start to live with a new partner
      you stop paying for child care
      your childcare costs go down by £10 a week
      you stop being responsible for a child or qualifying young person or the
       one you are responsible for dies
      your work hours change so that you no longer meet a 16, 24 or 30
       hours a week qualifying rule
      you or your partner leave the UK permanently, lose the right to reside
       or are away from the UK for at least 8 weeks (12 weeks if you go or
       remain abroad due to illness, or a member of your family is ill or has
       died)

Tax credit and housing benefit and council tax benefit

If your tax credit award in any following tax year goes down, you may become
entitled to (more) housing benefit and council tax benefit. It is therefore
important to seek further advice and get a new calculation when the new tax
year is approaching. At this time you could contact a local advice centre such
as Citizens Advice for more guidance.
Help with housing costs: four weeks run-on

If you take up a job that is expected to last five weeks or more, your housing
benefit, council tax benefit (or other housing cost payments such as support
with mortgage interest) can continue at your existing rate for four weeks. To
qualify for this run-on you must have been in one of the two following groups
immediately before starting work.

1. You need to have been getting one of these benefits or a combination of
them for at least 26 weeks.

      jobseeker’s allowance (income-based, not contribution-based)
      income support
      income-related employment and support allowance

Time on contributory JSA will count towards the 26 weeks.

2. You need to have been getting one of these benefits or a combination of
them for at least 26 weeks.

      employment and support allowance (contribution-based)
      incapacity benefit
      severe disablement allowance

You do not have to make a separate claim for your four weeks run-on: you
must however inform Jobcentre Plus within four weeks of starting work and
they should ensure your payments are made.

Return to work credit

Return to work credit is a payment of £40 a week for up to 52 weeks. It is for
disabled people who return to work. You may be paid a return to work credit if
you take up a job of at least 16 hours a week after you have been claiming
any of the following disability benefits (or any combination of them) for at least
13 weeks:

      employment and support allowance
      incapacity benefit
      income support (on the basis of incapacity)
      severe disablement allowance

To receive return to work credit:

      your earnings (but not any other income) must be less than £15,000 a
       year (equivalent to £288.46 per week or £1250 per month)
      your employment should be expected to last at least five weeks
      your rate of pay should be at least the national minimum wage.
      you must apply to Jobcentre Plus within five weeks of starting work
      you must have started work (or be starting work) within the five-week
       period immediately after being entitled to one or more of the ‘qualifying’
       benefits listed above.
      If you received income support as a lone parent or you claimed JSA
       during the five-week period, then you may not be eligible for return-to-
       work credit unless you claimed JSA whilst appealing the personal
       capability assessment/work capability assessment. Then the outcome
       of the appeal will determine whether you are subsequently eligible.

Return to work credit is non-taxable and will not be counted as income if
you’re claiming housing benefit, council tax benefit or tax credits.

Contact Jobcentre Plus to make a claim.

Please note that this may be removed for new claimants from October 2012,
so please check eligibility with the Jobcentre Plus.



In-work credit
In-work credit is £40 a week (or £60 in London) for the first year of your new
job. You will be eligible if you are a lone parent who has moved from certain
means-tested benefits to start work of at least 16 hours a week. To be eligible
you must have been receiving income support, jobseeker’s allowance or
employment and support allowance (ESA) or any combination of these
benefits for 52 weeks before starting your job. (ESA will only count if you lost
entitlement to income support due to the age of your youngest child and you
were unable to claim jobseeker's allowance because you were ill.)

In-work credit (like return to work credit) is non-taxable and will not be counted
as income if you’re claiming housing benefit, council tax benefit or tax credits.
(Unlike return to work credit, there is no condition that your earnings must be
less than £15,000 a year.) Contact Jobcentre Plus to make a claim.

If you live in London, you could get in-work credit if you receive income
support, JSA, incapacity benefit, ESA, severe disablement allowance or
carer’s allowance.

Customers are allowed a break of up to 5 days within the in-work credit
qualifying period.

Please note that this may be removed for new claimants from October 2012
onwards so please check eligibility with the Jobcentre Plus.
New enterprise allowance

You may be able to get help under the new enterprise allowance scheme if
you have been claiming JSA (but not any other out-of-work benefits) for at
least six months and you want to start your own business. This includes help
from volunteer business mentors to develop a business plan. If you are
regarded as having a viable business idea you may be able to get:

      small loans of up to £1,000 to help with start-up costs
      It can also provide a weekly allowance for up to 26 weeks

As from August 2011, NEA is available nationally across England, Scotland
and Wales.

NEA is not available to those on the Work Programme.

You should speak to your Jobcentre Plus adviser about this.



Job Grant

Job Grant is a one-off tax-free payment of £100 (or £250 if you have children),
which aims to bridge the gap between leaving benefit and receiving a wage. It
is for people who take up work of at least 16 hours a week that is expected to
last at least five weeks. To qualify you must have been receiving one or more
of the following benefits (or any combination of them) for at least 26 weeks
immediately before starting work.

      jobseeker’s allowance (income-based or contribution-based)
      employment and support allowance (income-related or contributory)
      incapacity benefit
      income support
      severe disablement allowance

You must tell Jobcentre Plus that you are starting full-time work within 21 days
of starting. You will then automatically be paid the Job Grant if you qualify.

Please note that this may be removed from October 2012 onwards so please
check eligibility with the Job Centre Plus.
Access to Work

If you want to work but have a disability that makes working a problem, you
may be able to get help from the Access to Work scheme. This provides
practical advice to help overcome work-related obstacles resulting from a
disability. Access to Work grants can be paid to you or your employer to cover
extra employment costs including equipment and travel. The amount depends
on what you need due to your disability.

If you feel that the job you are doing (or going to be doing) is affected by your
disability or health condition, contact Access to Work. You can do this by
contacting Jobcentre Plus to talk to an Access to Work adviser or Disability
Employment Adviser (DEA) for advice and an application form. Or contact
Access to Work direct at one of the following contact centres:

London if you work in

      South East England
      London
      East of England

phone: 020 8426 3110
textphone: 020 8426 3133
email: atwosu.london@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk

Cardiff if you work in:

      South West England
      Wales
      West Midlands
      East Midlands

phone: 02920 423 291
textphone: 02920 644 886
email: atwosu.cardiff@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk

Glasgow if you work in

      Scotland
      North West England
      North East England
      Yorkshire and Humberside

phone: 0141 950 5327
textphone: 0845 6025850
email: atwosu.glasgow@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk
If you have to stop work

If you start work and then have to move back on to benefits, you may find the
following information useful.

Employment on Trial

Normally, if you leave a job ‘without good reason’ you may suffer a penalty if
you then claim jobseeker’s allowance: your benefit may be ‘suspended’ (that
is, go unpaid) for one to 26 weeks. On the other hand, Employment on Trial
allows you to start a job and leave voluntarily and still claim jobseeker’s
allowance without penalty. Employment on Trial applies if:

      you have been in the job at least four weeks and one day and left
       before you have been there for 13 weeks, and
      you have worked at least 16 hours in each complete week, and
      for at least 13 weeks before you began the job you have not worked or
       been a full time student or been in relevant education.

However, Employment on Trial does not apply if you are dismissed from your
new job or lose the job through misconduct. For more information please
contact Jobcentre Plus. We recommend that you seek advice before leaving
a job under the Employment on Trial rules.

Rapid re-claim

If you were claiming income support, jobseeker’s allowance or employment
and support allowance before starting work, and your job ends within 26
weeks, and there have been no other changes in your circumstances, you can
fill out a much shorter ‘rapid re-claim’ form. This should speed up the
processing of your fresh claim. Rapid re-claim also applies to housing benefit
and council tax benefit if you are making a ‘rapid re-claim’ for income support,
jobseeker’s allowance, or employment and support allowance.

Working tax credit (WTC) four weeks ‘run-on’

If you start work and then stop, or reduce your hours, you will continue to be
treated as being in work for a further four weeks and may continue to get
WTC. This rule assists people whose normal working hours fall below the
number needed to qualify for WTC, which is either 16 or 30 hours a week, or
24 hours a week for some couples with children.

If you need to work 16 hours a week to get WTC, you may continue to get
WTC for a further four weeks after your normal working hours fall below 16
hours a week. If you jointly need to work 24 hours as a couple, then you may
continue to get WTC for a further four weeks after your normal working hours
fall below this. If you need to work 30 hours a week to get WTC, you may
continue to get WTC for a further four weeks after your normal working hours
fall below 30 hours a week: this will assist people who would otherwise lose
their entitlement, including those over 25 who do not have children and are
not disabled and do not qualify for WTC unless they are as working 30 hours
a week or more.

To get WTC four weeks ‘run-on’ you must report your change of
circumstances to the Tax Credit Office within one month of stopping work or
reducing your hours.

Further Information

This Disability Rights UK factsheet is a basic overview of claiming in-work
benefits. You can find out more detailed information in our Disability Rights
Handbook available at www.radar-shop.org.uk.

In some areas of the country there may be additional grants and payments
available to you depending on your situation. Please ask your local Jobcentre
Plus or employment advisor for more information.

You may also be interested in the following factsheets:

      Factsheet F9 - a guide to tax credits
      Factsheet F10 - tax credits - extra money due to disability
      Factsheet F27 - access to work
      Factsheet F35 - work for people who are sick and disabled

We have produced a free guide called Telling people about your disability,
available at www.disabilityrightsuk.org/skilltelling.htm which provides advice
about when to consider disclosing your disability to an employer.

We have also produced a guide called Doing Work Differently which explores
practical solutions to real questions related to work. It is available at
www.radar-shop.org.uk.

All our publications are available from our shop at www.radar-shop.org.uk/.
You can also place an order by contacting Disability Rights UK on 020 7250
3222 (this is not an advice line) or by fax on 020 7247 8765. All our
factsheets are available at www.disabilityrightsuk.org/factsheets.htm.



29 August 2012

Disability Rights UK

								
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