Tax credits are payments from the Government and are designed to help people on a low income. They are not taxable. The fact that you are living with HIV has no bearing on your eligibility for tax credits.
If you work, but are on a low income, you may qualify for Working Tax Credit (WTC). If you're responsible for at least one child or young person, you may qualify for Child Tax Credits (CTC). You can often get both types of tax credits.
You will usually need to make a joint claim for tax credits if you’re married, in a civil partnership or living together as if you’re married or in a civil partnership.
You can usually only make a single claim if you don't fall into one of these groups.
Tax credits are paid directly into your bank, building society, Post Office or National Savings account if it accepts Direct Payments. Payments are either weekly or every four weeks.
If you're both working and you both qualify for WTC, you can decide which one of you will get the payments. Couples claiming CTC need to decide who the children's main carer is. If you’re the main carer then the money will be paid to you.
Your payments will usually run from the date of your claim to the end of the tax year. Claims can usually be backdated for up to one month and sometimes longer, from the date the Tax Credit Office receive your claim form.
It’s important to renew your claim each year, usually in July, to avoid your claim being closed. It’s also important to inform the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of any changes in circumstances to reduce the risk of overpayments or underpayments.
To claim tax credits you have to fill in a claim form. You must contact the Tax Credit Helpline to get a tax credits claim pack. Applying through the helpline is the first step of the process.
There are two types of tax credit - Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. But you only need to complete one claim form, even if you want to claim both.
When you contact the Tax credits helpline you’ll need:
As a general guide, you could be eligible for tax credits if you:
Other factors, such as disabilities, are also taken into account before a decision is made.
The amount of tax credits you get depends on things such as:
Your payments also depend on your income. The lower your income, the more tax credits you can get.
If you disagree with the decision, you should contact the Tax Credits Helpline, explain why you think it’s wrong and ask for an explanation.
If the Tax Credits Helpline operator agrees that the decision is wrong, they will arrange for the decision to be changed and a new decision notice issued.
If the operator cannot change the decision, they should explain why. If you’re still not satisfied, you can usually appeal against the decision. Appeals should normally be made within 30 days of the decision.
If you have the right of appeal, it will say so in the notice of the decision. Decisions which can be appealed against are:
If you're struggling with your finances or would like some help with understanding benefits, call our free helpline THT Direct or book a session with an Online Adviser.
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This article was last reviewed on
by C. Berry
Date due for the next review: 3/9/2017
Content Author: G. Arrindell
Current Owner: D. Anyanwu
Various people talk about their experiences of living with HIV.
CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau
HIV Drug Interactions
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Equality and Human Rights Commission
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