This blog post aims to help in exploring the benefits that you can claim if you work 20 hours a week. For this, we will review the benefits that are affected by the claimants’ working hours as well as those that remain unaffected by them. 

What Benefits Can I Claim If I Work 20 Hours A Week?

You can claim the following benefits if you work 20 hours a week:

  • Child Benefit
  • Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Tax Credits
  • Pension Credit
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance

The reason for this is that the above-listed benefits are welfare benefits for individuals on a low income or those who are unemployed. Therefore they are not affected by the number of hours you work. 

Additionally, disability benefits such as Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance are primarily based on the disability needs of a claimant rather than their working hours or even their income or savings.

However, as Universal Credit is replacing the six legacy benefits which include Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit, you will have to apply for Universal Credit for a fresh claim even if you qualify for any of these benefits.

On the other hand, there are some benefits that you cannot claim if you work 20 hours a week as they are affected by the number of working hours of claimants. While your payments may be reduced for some benefits, if you work 20 hours a day, you may lose your claim altogether in the case of others.

Which Benefits Can’t Be Claimed If I Work 20 Hours A Week?

You will not be able to claim the below-listed benefits if you work 20 hours a week or you will lose your claim to them if you were previously receiving payments but have either increased your working hours or started to work for a wage:

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance

You cannot claim Employment and Support Allowance if you work. If your partner works while you claim ESA, the number of hours that they work will reduce your benefits claim.

Similarly, if you are claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance or Income Support, you should be working for 16 hours or less. This means that increasing your working hours will make you ineligible for both of these benefits. 

The only exception to this rule is if you fall into any of the following categories, you may still be able to claim Job Seeker’s Allowance or Income Support and continue working for 20 hours or more:

  • Carers
  • Disabled people on a low income (due to disability)
  • Foster parents
  • Local Councillors 
  • People on certain training schemes
  • People living in residential care or a nursing home
  • Self-employed childminders
  • Share fishermen
  • Special occupations (such as. lifeboatmen, part-time firemen, Territorial Army, Volunteer Reserves and coastguards)
  • Volunteers

Another alternative would be that If you and your partner can no longer claim Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance due to working for 20 hours or more per week, you can apply for Working Tax Credits. 

How Can I Work 20 Hours A Day And Claim Working Tax Credits?

You can work 20 hours a day and claim Working Tax Credits if you meet the below-listed eligibility criteria:

  • A claimant who is single and responsible for a child should work a minimum of 16 hours per week.
  • A claimant who qualifies for the disability element or who is above the age of 60 years should work a minimum of 16 hours per week.
  • Claimants who apply as a couple and are responsible for a child should work at least 24 hours between them. This means that one of them should work at least 16 hours per week.
  • Claimants who do not fall in any of these categories but are more than 25 years of age must work a minimum of 30 hours per week. 

It is important to note that you can only claim Working Tax Credits if you claim Child Tax Credits. Otherwise, you will have to apply for Universal Credit if you are of working age or Pension Credit if you and your partner are above the State Pension age.

If you intend to apply for a new claim for Working Tax Credits, you will have to use a postcode checker to see if the benefit has already been replaced with Universal Credit in your area. In this case, you will need to apply directly for Universal Credit.

The amount that you can claim with Working Tax Credits if you work 20 hours a day will depend on your circumstances. The basic amount that you can claim is £2,070 per year. However, there are added elements to this amount that will depend on your circumstances. 

For instance, you can claim up to £860 a year if you work at least 30 hours a week, up to £2,125 a year if you are a single parent and up to £3,345 a year if you have a disability.

How Can I Work 20 Hours A Day And Claim Universal Credit?

You can work 20 hours a day and claim Universal Credit as the number of hours an individual works does not have an impact on the claim for Universal Credit. However, your benefits payments will decrease as your income increases. At the same time, claimants of Universal Credit are encouraged to work and are also provided with support and guidance in this regard. 

To apply for Universal Credit, you will have to sign in to your Universal Credit account or create a new account if you don’t have one already. If you need help accessing your Universal Credit account or need guidance on how to create one, you can seek help by calling the Universal Credit helpline at 0800 328 5644.

The amount that you can claim with Universal Credit depends on your circumstances and income. For instance, 

  • you can claim £265.31 per month if you are single and under 25 years of age
  • if you are single but older than 25, you can claim £334.91on a monthly basis 
  • if you are part of a couple and both of you are younger than 25, you can make a joint claim of £416.45 per month
  • if you are a couple and you are older than 25 years, you will be eligible for a monthly payment of £525.72

Conclusion:

The above discussion helps to conclude that there are many benefits including Universal Credit that you can claim if you work 20 hours a week. At the same time, there are benefits that you could lose if you work 20 hours or work at all.

References: 

Income Support and working 16 hours a week or more – Entitled To

How are benefits affected by hours worked? – Turn2us

Universal Credit if you’re employed | nidirect

Working Tax Credit: Eligibility – GOV.UK