OK. I'd better say now that this is complicated. Don’t ask my why it’s so complicated: it can’t be so hard to say who’s a disabled worker, surely…
Firstly, you have to be working 16 hours or more a week (that’s not surprising, as that applies to anyone who wants to get Working Tax Credit).
Secondly, you have to have to have a disability that makes it hard for you to get a job.
Unfortunately, just because you think that definitely applies to you, the Tax Credit Office won’t necessarily agree. This is because you only count as fitting this rule if one or more of the following things applies to you…
||When standing you cannot keep your balance unless you
continually hold on to something.
You cannot walk a continuous distance of 100 metres along level ground without stopping or without suffering severe pain even when you use your usual walking aid, such as crutches, walking frame, walking stick, prosthesis or similar.
You cannot use either of your hands behind your back, as if you were putting on a jacket or tucking a shirt into trousers.
You cannot extend either of your arms in front of you, as if you were shaking hands with someone, without difficulty.
You cannot, without difficulty, put either of your hands up to your head, as if putting on a hat.
Due to a lack of ability in using your hands, you cannot pick up a coin that is 2.5 centimetres or less in diameter, such as a 10 pence coin, with one hand.
You find it difficult to use your hands or arms to pick up a full, one-litre jug and pour from it into a cup.
You cannot turn either of your hands sideways through 180 degrees.
||If you live in England or Wales — you are registered as blind or
partially sighted on a register compiled by a Local Authority.
If you live in Scotland — you have been certified as blind or as partially sighted and you are also registered as blind or partially sighted on a register maintained by, or on behalf of, a council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994
If you live in Northern Ireland — you have been certified as blind or partially sighted. Because of this, you are also registered as blind or partially sighted on a register maintained by, or on behalf of, a Health and Social Services Board.
You cannot see to read 16 point print at a distance greater than 20 centimetres, even if you are wearing your usual glasses.
||You cannot hear a phone ring when you are in the same room as
the phone, even if you are using your usual hearing aid.
You have difficulty hearing what someone two metres away is saying, even when they are talking loudly in a quiet room, and you are using your usual hearing aid.
||You have a mental illness that you receive regular treatment for
under supervision of a medically qualified person.
Due to mental disability, you are often confused or forgetful.
You cannot do the simplest addition and subtraction.
Due to mental disability, you strike people or damage property, or are unable to form normal social relationships.
People who know you well have difficulty in understanding what you say.
When a person that you know well speaks to you, you have difficulty in understanding what that person says.
At least once a year, during waking hours, you are in a coma or have a fit where you lose consciousness.
You cannot normally sustain an eight-hour working day or a five-day working week, due to a medical condition or, to intermittent or continuous severe pain.
|Illness or accident
||As a result of an illness or accident, you are undergoing a
period of habilitation or rehabilitation. This does not apply to
you if you have been getting a disability element of Working Tax
Credit in the past two years.
You’ll notice that I've highlighted one of the descriptions in bold: that’s because this one might help you more than you can tell if you don’t happen to fit any of the other boxes. But don’t forget that the Tax Credit Office are likely to ask your GP or someone similar to back you up.
Thirdly, you need to either be getting certain benefits, or you need to have been getting certain benefits in the past.
This is where it gets really complicated…
You qualify if one of the following applies to you.
- You are currently getting one of the following benefits:
- Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, or Attendance Allowance.
- War Pensions and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, as long as either of these includes a mobility supplement or a constant attendance allowance.
- You were getting, at some point in the 26 weeks before you claim the disabled worker element, one of the following benefits:
- Employment and Support Allowance (or national insurance credits because you have a limited capability for work), provided that you were entitled to this Employment and Support Allowance (and/or credits) for 28 weeks in total;
- Incapacity Benefit;
- Income Support including the disability premium or higher pensioner premium;
- Income based Jobseeker's Allowance including the disability premium or higher pensioner premium;
- Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, or Council Tax Support, including the disability premium or higher pensioner premium;
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- You have been getting one of the following benefits for 20 weeks, and this ended less than 8 weeks before you claim the disabled worker element, and your disability is likely to last at least 6 months, and your gross earnings now are at least 20% less than they were before your disability began (or £15 per week, if this is bigger):
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support (because of incapacity for work)
- National Insurance Credits (because of incapacity for work or limited capability for work)
- Statutory Sick Pay, or Occupational Sick Pay
- You have undertaken training for work for at least one day in the 8 weeks before you claim the disabled worker element and for at least one day in 8 weeks before you started that training, you were getting one of the following benefits:
- Contributory Employment and Support Allowance (but you must have been getting this for 28 weeks)
- Incapacity Benefit
- National Insurance Credits because of having limited capability for work
- You were getting this disabled worker element at some point in the 8 weeks before you have claimed it now (obviously it must have stopped in the meantime) if you were getting it in the past for one of the reasons in 2, 3, or 4.
|Even this doesn’t cover every possible scenario: if you have been getting a benefit that I haven’t mentioned here or you have been in and out of a work and/or in and out of a mixture of benefits, seek further advice. If your head isn’t hurting now I'm impressed…|