This section provides general advice on the help you may be able to get if you start work or increase the number of hours you work.

Extended payments – help with housing costs 

If you were getting help with your housing costs while you were out of work, you may continue to receive the same amount of Housing Benefit and Council Tax benefit as you did before you started work. This will continue for four weeks and is known as an extended payment.

In order to qualify for an extended payment

  • You must have been in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance or contributory Employment & Support Allowance continuously for at least 26 weeks before starting work and
  • your employment/increased hours must be expected to last for 5 weeks or more

You do not need to apply for an extended payment. It will be automatically awarded if you meet the qualifying conditions when you start work.

Housing benefit and council tax benefit

You can still get Housing Benefit or a Council Tax Reduction (or both) if you are working. The amount you receive will depend on your income, savings and family circumstances.

You can use the Claim Benefits Online system to work out whether or not you will be entitled to Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction. Please note: this is only intended as a guide. Alternatively, you can contact us on 0800 652 5422 (freephone).

Tax credits

You can get Working Tax Credit if you or your partner are working enough hours a week and your income is low enough. You don’t need to have children to qualify. The number of hours a week you have to work to be able to get Working Tax Credit depends on your circumstances.

You can still get Child Tax Credit if you are working .

More Information 

Further information is available in the Our guide to help those who are starting work Leaflet.

For more information on Benefits and help when going back to work please refer to the governments website www.gov.uk.