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Return to Work Credits: Could they help you to get back to work?

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Returning to work is greatly encouraged by the government for both the health of the economy and personal growth and financial independence. It should also have a positive impact on both your daily life and your bank balance. For those who have been receiving certain benefits and are planning on returning to work, then you may be entitled to ‘Return To Work Credits’ to provide extra payments in your first year of returning to work.

Are you entitled to Return to Work Credits?

In order to claim, you must have been receiving either Incapacity Benefit, Income Support (due to illness or disability) Employment and Support Allowance or Severe Disablement Allowance. You need to have been claiming these for at least 13 weeks before returning to work and must start work within 5 weeks after being entitled to claim. If you have been claiming for less than 13 weeks but you were claiming Statutory Sick Pay immediately before, this also counts towards entitlement for receiving credit. Your job or new work should be paid for at least 16 hours per week, and you should earn at least the minimum wage but no more than £288.46 gross per week or £15,000 or less before deductions, per year. The work must be expected to last at least 5 weeks you need to have started claiming qualifying benefits before 2nd July 2013 and start work before 1st October 2013.

Help with returning to work

Tax free payments

Return To Work Credits are a tax free payment of £40 per week on top of your earnings and aren’t counted as income when claiming other benefits such as housing benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Council Tax Credit, or Carer’s Allowance. Neither does it affect your partners benefit if they claim Income Support, Carer’s Allowance, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance or Income Related Employment and Support Allowance.

How to claim

To claim, you should contact your local Jobcentre Plus within 5 weeks, advising them you are returning to work, starting a new job or self employment. They will then be able to discuss your situation and if they believe you qualify, give you a claim form. Alternatively, you can download a copy of the form from www.gov.uk and take it to them. If you qualify, any credits will then be paid directly into your bank, building society or Post Office account.

If your circumstances change you need to notify Jobcentre Plus

If you are claiming and your circumstances change, you should notify Jobcentre Plus right away, even if you are only changing jobs. You may still receive Return To Work Credit providing you continue to earn less than £15,000 a year, still work 16 hours or more per week, haven’t had a break between jobs for more than 5 weeks and haven’t claimed any benefits between jobs. You only receive Return To Work Credits while you are working so if you stop work, you should notify Jobcentre Plus immediately so your credits can also be stopped.

Credits are only paid for up to 52 weeks but can be a great incentive for those wanting to return to work and needing a little helping hand, so if you think you meet the criteria check to see if you are entitled to a little more each week and don’t miss out!

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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