Financial help when starting work

Who do I need to tell?

You’ll need to let the tax credits office know that you’re starting work, and  if you want to claim for childcare costs. You need to do this within a month of starting, but the sooner the better as you could be entitled to more money than before you were working. The factsheets Benefits and tax credits when you work 16 hours or more and Tax credits when your circumstances change give more information on how your tax credits will be affected by the change.

If you have been claiming universal credit you will need to make sure that you inform your work coach that you’ll be working, as your universal credit will change, or perhaps even finish. If you will be using childcare such as a nursery or childminder you may be able to claim the ‘childcare element’ of universal credit. Ask your work coach for more details. Also check with your work coach how often you need to report your childcare expenses if you claim the childcare element of universal credit.

If you receive housing benefit you’ll need to inform your local council that you’re now working, and provide details of any childcare costs.. Lots of parents are still entitled to housing benefit if they’re working and renting, and your local council can calculate this for you.

If you’re receiving a council tax reduction this could be affected, so you’ll need to inform your council of the change. If you’ve previously claimed jobseekers allowance, employment and support allowance, or income support for a continuous period of 26 weeks or longer, you should continue to get full housing benefit for four weeks after you start work. Check with your local council to see if you’re eligible.

More help with costs

Depending on your income, you could be entitled to help with health costs. If you’re claiming tax credits you could automatically be entitled to full cover of your health costs – you can check on this webpage. If you’re not automatically entitled to help, you could still get support through the NHS low income scheme.

Child maintenance

If you aren’t getting any child maintenance from your child’s other parent at the moment then this could make a big difference to your budget. All parents have a legal responsibility to support their child financially. Our interactive guide can help you decide on the best child maintenance arrangement for your family.