The previous tax credit system of working tax credit (WTC) and child tax credit (CTC) has been replaced with universal credit (UC), which is designed to assist low-income people and those who are unable to work.
Under certain circumstances, apprentices are entitled to UC. However, you may only claim UC if you are engaged in a recognised apprenticeship, which requires you to do the following:
- You should have a training provider.
- You must be doing a recognised qualification.
- Apprentices must be paid the National Minimum Wage.
For more information on UC eligibility, see https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/eligibility.
Certain applicants must meet specific working-hour criteria to be eligible for UC, but this is not the case for apprentices. If you are eligible for UC, you must sign a claimant commitment tied to the number of hours you work as part of your apprenticeship.
If your apprenticeship lasts more than 30 hours per week, you should not be expected to conduct any work-related activities. This means you won’t need to look for work outside of what you’re doing as part of your apprenticeship.
However, you may be obliged to engage in job-related activities if your apprenticeship is for fewer than 30 hours per week and you are not in one of the groups that may work fewer hours. Those with a disability, illness or childcare responsibilities can work fewer hours.