Starting a job

Your duties

Going into work means that your circumstances change.

If you are receiving:

  • Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), income support or Employment Support Allowance (ESA)

and start working:

  • more than 16 hours per week (for lone parents or single claimants) or 24 hours (for couples)

you will need to:

  • inform Jobcentre Plus to close your benefit claim
  • contact HMRC to apply for working tax credits
  • inform the benefit department at the council.

Informing Jobcentre Plus that you have started working

This can be done in two ways:

  • if you are on JSA, filling in the relevant sections in your ES40 booklet (green signing card), signing the declaration, then returning it to Jobcentre Plus within five working days of starting work
  • calling your Jobcentre Plus.

If you work below the hours stated above, you still need to inform Jobcentre Plus but your claim can remain open; this means that any money you earn will be deducted from your benefits. View more information about this.

If you are in receipt of Carers Allowance, ESA support the rules are different.

Claiming working tax credit

If you are new to tax credits, contact the tax credits helpline for a claim form (it takes up to two weeks to arrive). If you are already claiming child tax credits, you don't need a form you can simply call the helpline and update your claim

When you call make sure you have all the required information about your job.

If you are applying for working tax credit to help you pay for childcare when you start work, you will need to be using a registered provision and have their details. We can help you find childcare if you need this as well.

You can claim at anytime of the year and up to seven days before starting a new job. Child tax credit and working tax credit can be applied for on the same form.

You have to renew your claim once per year. To support your claim keep records of your income, payslips, bills, benefits, childcare, tax credits and your child's education.

Contacting the Brent housing benefit team

You can do this in two ways:

You will need to provide us with proof of the change, such as payslips, contract of employment or P45.

Council tax support

If you are on a low income you may also be entitled to council tax support.