Benefits Expert: ‘What could we claim if she did not go back to work?’

Money, money, money
Money, money, money
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My partner earns £180 a week for working 30 hours a week.

I am out of work and on £135 a fortnight Jobseeker’s Allowance which will end next month.

Would we be entitled to Working Tax Credit (WTC)?

Mrs. C (by email)

You and your partner would be able to claim WTC on the basis of his 30 hours a week work if your combined annual taxable income is accepted as being under £17,785.

At first your WTC award will be based on your joint annual taxable income for the year ended April 5, 2011.

If you think your income for the year beginning April 6, 2011, will be less than this you can ask for your award on to be based upon your likely income.

You can claim WTC by phoning the Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3900.

I am 50 and recently signed myself off Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) to start work for £120 a week.

My wife was already working earning £720 a month and we receive £27 a week Working Tax Credit. Is this right?

Dan (by email).

Your WTC may still be based upon your income for tax year ending April 2010.

If your income for tax year ending April 2011 was less you should be in line for an increase.

I think you should check that you have all the appropriate elements included in your WTC calculation.

Firstly there is the Disability Element which is worth an extra £2,650 a year.

This is payable if you have a “physical or mental disability which puts you at a disadvantage in getting a job” and you were receiving ESA for at least 28 weeks before claiming WTC.

Then there is the 50-plus element which is worth upwards of £1,365 a year.

This is payable if you were at least 50 when you started work for at least 16 hours a week and had been on ESA for at least six months beforehand.

My wife and I earned about £8,000 and £19,000 respectively last year and receive Tax Credits of £87 a month in respect of our one child.

My wife is having another baby soon. What could we claim if she did not go back to work?

Mr. T. (Sunderland).

Tax Credits for two children based on an annual income of £27,000 will be about £36 a week.

If you ask for your award to be based on a likely income of, for example, £20,000 for the current year you would be due about £90 a week.