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Some advice about working & child tax credits

Hi there,

Me and my ex are currently claiming child tax credit at about 117 per week. We have two children 1 and 4. We are both unemployed. We have to joint claim as he still lives in my house.

When we were together we agreed that I would be a SAHM and he worked full time in retail and he also recieved working tax credit. Since then he has lost his job and has been applying for more jobs but he is picky about which jobs and also refuses to claim JSA - so he's been unemployed for a while now. So child benefit and child tax credit is our only income - we also get healthy start vouchers.

I am really struggling for money now and hate the feeling of not being able to provide for my children and have been looking at some part time jobs, there are a couple I've found that have hours early morning which means I could still be in with the kids during the day.

What I'm wondering is if I started a job working 24 hours - would we then not be entitled to child tax credits and healthy start vouchers? And would I be able to claim working tax credit... does that replace the child tax credit?

For example one of the jobs I'm looking at applying for would cost around £105 per month in bus fares... meaning if we couldnt claim tax credits I'd only be about £50 better off than I am now... :(

I could get a full time day job, but I don't really want my 1 year old being in full time childcare (and the costs associated)

I think I'm just in a muddle with the tax credits... I did read the leaflet and tried the online calculater - but it asked last years income (0) so I think I've confused myself.

Thank you for any help


  • GreenUmbrella
    Working tax credits doesn't replace child tax credits. Some people get both, it is based on income. As it's still a joint claim you'd need to work at least 24 hours between you (with one working at least 16 hours). If you were a single parent you only need to work 16 hours to claim working tax credits.

    Healthy start vouchers would stop though if on working tax credits.

    Why can't you work full time and he looks after the kids rather than putting them in childcare?

    Thank you for the help, does this mean one person (me) can work over 24 hours or does it have to be both of us combined working over 24 hours?

    As for the childcare... he's not the most reliable. He doesn't want to be the stay at home parent and he would just tell me with no notice 'sorry I can't watch them tomorrow I have a job interview' or something. We tried it before when I went to college and in the end I left.

    All part of the reason he's an ex rather than a boyfriend
  • GreenUmbrella
    So why aren't you making a single claim?

    You can either work the 24 hours or one of you works at least 16 hours and the other makes up the rest.

    Because he lives in my house... even though we're seperated and sleep in seperate rooms apparently we have to make a joint claim as he lives here and his accounts are registered to this address etc.

    Thanks again for your help blondebubbles
  • Icequeen99
    Icequeen99 Posts: 3,775 Forumite
    edited 3 April 2015 at 7:37AM
    Because he lives in my house... even though we're seperated and sleep in seperate rooms apparently we have to make a joint claim as he lives here and his accounts are registered to this address etc.

    Thanks again for your help blondebubbles

    As BB says, you can only make a joint claim if you are actually a couple. If you are not a couple, then you shouldn't be making a joint claim even if you live in the same house.

    You need to get some advice about your position. You will need to be able to evidence you are living separately in the same house.

    I can't quite understand why neither of you are claiming JSA or why you are not claiming IS. That would be over a £100 a week as a couple extra.

    You won't be able to claim help with childcare costs from tax credits if he is not working (on a joint claim)

  • FBaby
    FBaby Posts: 18,367 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    You say he lives in your house. Do you mean it is under your name only? If so, just kick him out. Why would you allow him to stay when he can't be bothered to either get a job or allow you to? You could make a single claim now, but you are taking a big risk of being investigated, at least after a certain time of you make no move towards physically separating to. If it is your intention to do so in the near future, why not do it now?

    You sound like you want to do something with your life, don't let him hold you back. Many nurseries do an excellent job and kids love it. My two went when from the age of 9 months whilst I work full-time and both loved it. They are now well-adjusted happy teenagers who certainly show no trauma from their time in childcare. They however do enjoy the fact that by working, I managed to kick off a career that mean a good income to give them chances that they wouldn't have otherwise. If this is what you want to do, don't let others stop you.
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