3. Eligibility

Eligibility depends on your age and how many hours of paid work you do a week. Your income and circumstances will also affect how much you get.

Use the tax credits questionnaire to check if you qualify.

Your age

You must be 16 or over to qualify.

Hours you work

You must work a certain number of hours a week to qualify.

Circumstance Hours a week
25 to 59 At least 30 hours
60 or over At least 16 hours
Disabled At least 16 hours
Single with 1 or more children At least 16 hours
Couple with 1 or more children Usually, at least 24 hours* (with 1 of you working at least 16 hours)

*There are exceptions to the 24 hour rule. Use the tax credits calculator to check if you work the right number of hours.

A child should be under 16 (or under 20 if they’re in approved education or training).

You can apply for Working Tax Credits if you’re on leave or about to start a new job in the next 7 days.

Your pay

The work must last at least 4 weeks and must be paid.

This can include payment in kind (eg farm produce for a farm labourer) or where you expect to be paid for the work.


Paid work does not include money paid:

Your income

There’s no set limit for income because it depends on your circumstances (and those of your partner). For example, £18,000 for a couple without children or £13,100 for a single person without children - but it can be higher if you have children, pay for approved childcare or one of you is disabled.

Use the tax credits calculator to check if your income is too high for tax credits.

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