The ‘qualifying benefit’ test:
To get the disability element of WTC included in your assessment, you must meet one of the following conditions.
Condition A - At any time in the last 26 weeks before you claim WTC you were getting higher rate of short term incapacity benefit (IB), long-term incapacity benefit (IB), severe disablement allowance (SDA) or employment and support allowance (ESA: providing you have been entitled to it for at least 28 weeks – including linked periods and periods on statutory sick pay (SSP)).
Condition B - At any time in the last 26 weeks before you claim WTC you were getting the disability or higher pensioner premium in income support (IS), income-based jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit (HB) or council tax benefit (CTB).
Condition C - You get disability living allowance (DLA – either component, any rate), Personal Independence Payment (PIP-either component, either rate) or attendance allowance (or an Industrial Injuries or War Pensions scheme equivalent). You must meet this condition throughout the period of your claim, not just at the start of it.
Condition D - On the date of your claim, and throughout your claim you have a Motability car or similar vehicle
Condition E: the ‘Fast Track’ - This is known as the ‘Fast Track’ because it enables people who have been off sick to return to work without having to be either off sick for six months or be on DLA, etc (as in Conditions A to D). The ‘Fast Track’ rules are that:
At the date of claim:
- you have a disability likely to last at least six months (or for the rest of your life if your death is expected within six months);
- your gross earnings are less than they were before your disability began, by at least 20% or £15 a week, whichever is greater;
you had been getting, for at least 20 weeks - ending at any time in the last eight weeks before you claim:
- ESA, SSP, occupational sick pay, short term incapacity benefit at the lower rate or income support paid on the basis of incapacity; or
- Class 1 or Class 2 national insurance contribution credits on the basis that you were incapable of work or had a limited capability for work.
Condition F - At any time in the last eight weeks before you claim WTC you:
- had been undertaking training for work (which means certain government training courses or a course of 16 hours or more a week learning occupational or vocational skills);
- within the eight weeks prior to the start of the training course, had been getting higher rate short-term or long-term IB, SDA or ESA (providing you have been entitled to it for at least 28 weeks – including linked periods and periods on SSP).
Condition G - You will be treated as qualifying for the disability element if, within the eight weeks before you make your claim (including renewal claims), you were entitled to the disability element of tax credits by virtue of Condition A, B, E or F. This allows those who were getting a qualifying benefit, such as ESA, to continue to get the WTC disability element for long after they stopped receiving that benefit. If you got the disability element because you met Condition C or D, as you were in receipt of, for example, DLA, you need to be getting that benefit when you make your new, or renewal claim.