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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Entitlement: WTC - 50 plus: Qualifying conditions

Note: The 50+ element ceased 6th April 2012

Working Tax Credit (Entitlement & Maximum Rate) Regulations 2002, Reg. 18

The 50+ element is payable for a continuous period of no longer than 12 months. The 12 months may consist of more than one period of qualifying remunerative work, provided the gap between any consecutive pair of those periods is not more than 26 weeks.

Gaps of over 26 weeks will break the “continuous period” so enabling a further 12 month “continuous period” to start again, providing all the qualifying conditions are met.

For example - A 54 year old was on Job Seekers Allowance from 14/08/08 until 29/09/09. On 30/09/09 they started working 16 hours a week and made a new claim for WTC including the 50+ element. They previously received WTC including the 50+ element from 29/05/06 until 28/05/07. As there was a break of more than 26 weeks in their entitlement to the 50+ element and they meet all the qualifying conditions they are entitled to a further 12 months 50+ element.

To qualify the claimant, or in the case of a joint claim, at least one of the claimants must:

  • be aged at least 50 on the date they return to work and
  • start qualifying remunerative work of at least 16 hours a week, and
  • for at least six months* immediately prior to starting qualifying remunerative work one of the following applies:
  1. they have received one of the benefits listed below:
a) Income Support   

b) Jobseekers Allowance   

c) Incapacity Benefit   

d) Severe Disablement Allowance   

e) Both a State Retirement Pension and state pension credit within the meaning of the State Pension Credit Act 2002;   

f) A training allowance paid by the Secretary of State under section 2(1) of the Employment and Training Act 1973 to a person participating in a Work-Based Learning for Adults or Training for Work schemes   

g) An employment and support allowance   
  1. they have been credited with National Insurance Contributions or earnings in accordance with the Social Security (Credits) Regulations 1975
  2. if one of the claimants received Carer’s Allowance Bereavement Allowance or Widowed Parent’s Allowance before going on to make a successful claim for one of the benefits or the National Insurance “credits” listed above they should count the period during which they received any of these allowances towards the six month period.
  3. for at least 6 months immediately before starting qualifying remunerative work another person was receiving a increase in respect of the claimant as a dependent as part of one of the benefits listed a) to e) above.

For example: In a joint claim, claimant 1 is 50+ and working 16 hours or more a week, but not however received one of the qualifying benefits for at least six months immediately prior to starting qualifying remunerative work. If claimant 2 (or another person) has received an increase in respect of claimant 1 as a dependent as part of one of the benefits listed a) to e) above they can still claim the 50+ element.

*The 6 months period may be satisfied where the person received a combination of the above benefits for consecutive periods, amounting in the aggregate to at least six months, the last of which ends immediately prior to starting qualifying remunerative work (‘consecutive periods’ are periods, any pair of which is separated by a gap of not more than 12 weeks),

If both members of a couple qualify

Working Tax Credit (Entitlement & Maximum Rate) Regulations 2002, Reg. 3(3)(c)

In a joint claim for Working Tax Credit, if both members of the couple satisfy the conditions of entitlement for the 50+ element, the award must include two such elements. Hours can not be combined to increase this element.