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Is it ok to claim WTC before applying for ILR?

Questions and discussions about claiming benefits while living and working in the UK

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Is it ok to claim WTC before applying for ILR?

Post by x232 » Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:05 pm

Hi there,

Background info: I am a UK british male citizen, born and bread in the UK, holding a British Passport.

I recently got married abroad, my wife is now in the country and has been living in the country for about 8months with a Spouse Visa for 2 years.


Question 1: Is it ok to apply for working tax credits in my name or alternatively in my wifes and my name?

Question 2: is it ok to apply for the Sure Start Maternity Grant of £500?

Question 3: Is it ok for my wife to apply for Child Tax Credit, she is expecting within the next 4 months?


All the above is based on the fact that my wife will be applying for the ILR in about 16months times... so is it ok to apply for the above or stay away?

I will really appreciate any replies from anybody who is experianced in the above matters.

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Post by Wanderer » Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:13 pm

You can claim anthing so long as you claim no extra as a result of ur wife. The kids is yours so you (not ur wife) can claim CTC, CB etc...

You do need to claim WTC in both ur names, but it's the same rate for couples as for single person so u won;t be breaking the rules. In fact u legally obliged to.
An chéad stad eile Stáisiún Uí Chonghaile....

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Post by x232 » Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:24 pm

thnx for the reply wanderer,

if i can claim WTC do you know if i can get it back dated? Ive stayed away from WTC for 6months coz someone told me it is best to not claim any benefits while my wife doesnt have the ILR yet

Whate about the "Sure Start Maternity Grant of £500?", do we claim that or leave it?

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Post by lesley15 » Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:43 pm

your WTC can be backdated three months only.

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Post by John » Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:45 am

x232, using your numbering :-
  1. As already stated, it is not OK to claim in your sole name. The claim must be made in joint names. But such a claim is totally OK in your circumstances, because of reg 3(2), Tax Credits (Immigration) Regulations 2003, as reinforced by rule 6B of the Immigration Rules.
  2. You need to appreciate that the term "Public Funds", as defined by rule 6 of the Immigration Rules, makes no attempt to include all possible types of benefit within the definition. And the good news is that the definition includes nothing related to maternity, so no problem about the Maternity Grant, nor for example, claiming free prescriptions, because of the maternity, nor free NHS dentistry (assuming of course you can find an NHS dentist!).
  3. See 1 above, no it is not OK for your wife to claim Child Tax Credit ... the claim must be made in joint names. Indeed all you will need to do is phone the Tax Credits office and inform them of the change of circumstance, the birth of the baby, and they will recalculate the Tax Credits automatically.
You don't ask about Child Benefit. While your wife has a time-restricted visa she must not claim Child Benefit. However, either parent is entitled to claim. It is merely a convention that in most households that it is probably the mother who claims. So absolutely no problem you claiming the Child Benefit, and indeed you should do so shortly after the birth of the baby.

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Post by x232 » Sun Jun 15, 2008 10:10 am

many thanks for the detailed reply John and thankyou lesley15, this has cleared up all my doubts. I was a little apprehensive to claim benefits at first but now that i can see that i am legally elegible i will be making a claim shortly.

thanks again guys. :P