Experimental Prototype Give Feedback

Your location is: Unknown Change

Find your location

Why do we need this?

Setting your location at Direct Scot means we can give you search results that are both local and relevant to you (e.g. your bin collection days, school term dates, nearby schools and sports and leisure services)

We don't store this user data, so your security is guaranteed.

Close
Close

Unreviewed - content source has not yet been reviewed for DirectScot

You're 50 or over - extra Working Tax Credit payments

If you're 50 or over you may be able to get an extra Working Tax Credit payment, called the '50-plus' element. You'll need to be starting work again after being on certain benefits, such as Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance. You also need to be working for at least 16 hours a week.

Who can get the extra payments?

To qualify for the 50-plus element you must be:

  • starting work straight after coming off certain benefits
  • aged 50 or over on the day you start work
  • working for at least 16 hours a week or more

You must have been on benefits for at least six months. If you were on and off benefits for short periods, you may still get the 50-plus element if:

  • the gap between each period was no more than 12 weeks
  • the total time you were on certain benefits adds up to at least six months

It's worth knowing that the 50-plus element is ending from 6 April 2012.

Which benefits count?

To qualify you must have been getting one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension and the Pension Credit - you must have been getting both
  • training allowance for taking part in the Work Based Learning for Adults or Training for Work schemes
  • National Insurance credits

Carer's, Bereavement and Widowed Parent's Allowance

Usually the Carer's Allowance, Bereavement Allowance or Widowed Parent's Allowance don't count. But you might have been paid one of these before going on to receive National Insurance credits or any of the other benefits listed above. If so, you can treat the period you were getting it as part of the six months.

If another person gets an increase in benefit for you as a dependent

You can also qualify for the 50-plus element if, for example, a partner got an increase in their benefit for you because you're their dependent. But only certain benefits count. These are:

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension and the Pension Credit - they must have been getting both

The other person must have been getting the benefit right up to the start of your new job, and for at least six months before.

How much will you get?

The amount of the 50-plus element is based on how many hours you usually work. The rates from 6 April 2011 are:

  • up to £1,365 per year, that is around £26 a week, if you work 16 to 29 hours a week
  • up to £2,030 per year, that is around £39 a week, if you work 30 hours or more a week

The Tax Credit Office works out exactly how much money to pay you by looking at things like your personal circumstances and income. For example, you may be able to get extra money if you are a couple or a single parent.

You get the 50-plus element for 12 months from the date you start back at work. But this extra payment will no longer be available from 6 April 2012. So even if it's less than 12 months since you started back at work, your extra payments will stop then.

If you and your partner both qualify

If you are part of a couple, you will need to make a joint claim. If you both qualify then both of you can get the 50-plus element, but you can't combine your hours to receive the extra payment.

You may also qualify for an extra second adult payment if one or more of the following applies:

  • at least one of you works for 30 hours or more a week
  • one of you is responsible for a child or young person
  • one of you qualifies for the disability element of Working Tax Credit

What happens if you change your working hours?

If you - or your partner - change your working hours, it could affect the tax credits you get. So you must tell the Tax Credit Office if:

  • you start working less than 16 hours a week, if you were getting the lower rate
  • you start working less than 30 hours a week, if you were getting the higher rate

If this happens, you must tell the Tax Credit Office within one month. If you don't you could be paid too much money (an overpayment), which you may have to pay back. You may also be charged a penalty of up to £300.

You can let them know about a change by calling the Tax Credit Helpline.

Provided by HM Revenue and Customs

  • Source Direct Gov
  • Last Updated: 06 Jan 2012