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Separated but still living in same house
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# 1
GettingStraight
Old 22-06-2009, 2:23 PM
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Default Separated but still living in same house

I wonder if anyone can help me with this on here, before I try to navigate my way around the insanely complex benefits system myself...?

Myself and my partner have decided (quite some time ago) that we will be going our separate ways as soon as we are financially able to do so. We still live in the same house, only because neither of us can afford to move out & go elsewhere right now. We have been sleeping in different rooms for months.

Aside from the uncomfortable day-to-day living aspect of this, how does (or should) it affect our benefits?

We have two children. I'm on JSA, she is working 25hrs per week & gets the child benefit and working tax credits paid into her account. I currently get the housing benefit paid into my account.

We are currently still a couple as far as the various benefits agencies are concerned, but I'd much rather try to get everything separated now than have to do it later when it could cause more "friction"...

Can we make two completely separate claims for everything even though we are still living under the same roof?
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# 2
cattie
Old 22-06-2009, 4:05 PM
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If you want to be treated as single people then you need to demonstrate that you are not living as a couple still in some aspects of your lives.

When couples live under the same roof it can be difficult to be considered separated by the benefits people as most couples still share their lives to some extent in such situations.

It's not just about whether you share a bedroom or not. You need to show that you no longer do things together as a family, such as eating, shopping etc and have receipts & such to show you completely fend for yourself & buy your own food & cook it, pay equal shares for such things as electricity, gas & other such things.
The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
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# 3
GettingStraight
Old 22-06-2009, 4:17 PM
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Looking at it that way I guess it's best to just leave things be for the time being and carry on as we are. It's not practical to live completely separate lives as far as food shopping, eating etc are concerned. Especially as we have two young children.

Thanks for helping see that side of it...
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# 4
zappster1966
Old 22-06-2009, 5:12 PM
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Problem is you're claiming JSA (contributory I assume).

Once that runs out, after 6 months, you'll be left with no benefit income. You won't be able to go onto JSA (income based) because she's in remunerative work. What happens then ?

Wouldn't you be better biting the bullet now rather than waiting for your benefit to run out ?
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# 5
GettingStraight
Old 22-06-2009, 6:37 PM
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Well that's one of the main reasons I asked this question in the first place. The problem is, neither of us are in any position to move out of the place we're in. Neither of our parents have the room even.

I'm just about to start a small business of my own to try to get some income as I can't find a job. I've been told that if I work less than 16 hours per week, my JSA will still be paid (minus any money I make), which for now is fine. As you say though, once I reach the 6 month mark I'll get nothing.

I guess the best option would be to call them and let them know the situation as it is & see what comes of it from there?
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# 6
Oldernotwiser
Old 22-06-2009, 6:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GettingStraight View Post
Well that's one of the main reasons I asked this question in the first place. The problem is, neither of us are in any position to move out of the place we're in. Neither of our parents have the room even.

I'm just about to start a small business of my own to try to get some income as I can't find a job. I've been told that if I work less than 16 hours per week, my JSA will still be paid (minus any money I make), which for now is fine. As you say though, once I reach the 6 month mark I'll get nothing.

I guess the best option would be to call them and let them know the situation as it is & see what comes of it from there?
But if you're not working you could be claiming JSA and LHA/CTB for a flat. There doesn't seem to be any financial benefit for you to still be living in the family house, as far as I can see.
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# 7
NASA
Old 22-06-2009, 7:03 PM
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When does your 6 months run out?
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# 8
SomeBozo
Old 22-06-2009, 7:28 PM
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Hello GettingStraight.

You state :

Quote:
Myself and my partner have decided (quite some time ago) that we will be going our separate ways
Yet just 4 weeks ago you posted this thread :

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...tml?p=21716571

which states :

Quote:
My other half's car
and
Quote:
Firstly we don't have the cash
and
Quote:
we probably wouldn't pay it if we did TBH.
and
Quote:
We're reluctant to let it go for so little though
and
Quote:
are not sure what else we can do with it
and
Quote:
so we have to think about recovery costs back to our house if we don't sell it from where it is
That, to me at least, is a awful lot of "we"s and joint decision making to think that you are still a couple. It was only 4 weeks ago.

How long ago was :

Quote:
(quite some time ago)
as it was only 4 weeks ago.

I discovered all this with a simple search.

Can you address my points?

Bozo

Last edited by SomeBozo; 22-06-2009 at 7:31 PM.
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# 9
Zara33
Old 22-06-2009, 7:31 PM
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Bozo your getting good at this
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# 10
AsknAnswer
Old 22-06-2009, 8:31 PM
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Tax credits can be claimed as a lone parent when a couple seperates but are still residing within the same property; I had to do this with my ex as he point blankly refused to contribute towards anything and point blankly refused to move out. However, I was warned that I would need to be able to prove we were not LTAHAW if asked. I was asked, funnily enough over a year after I began claiming as a lone parent, and I was able to prove it so I didn't have a problem. BUT I could not claim CSA with him still residing there. HMRC and DWP take very different views on the situation.
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# 11
bestpud
Old 22-06-2009, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeBozo View Post
Hello GettingStraight.

You state :



Yet just 4 weeks ago you posted this thread :

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...tml?p=21716571

which states :


and

and

and

and

and


That, to me at least, is a awful lot of "we"s and joint decision making to think that you are still a couple. It was only 4 weeks ago.

How long ago was :



as it was only 4 weeks ago.

I discovered all this with a simple search.

Can you address my points?

Bozo
I'm always a little suspicious of people who say they want to carry on living together after they split, as I think that situation would drive most people mad! I'm even more suspicious when they seem to have been struggling financially as a couple and want to claim benefits.

However, in response to your point, I still sometimes say 'we' when talking about things me and my ex did, or owned together. I don't know about the OP but, after 23 years with my ex, it is natural to say 'we' and I have had to teach myself to say 'I'. I'm only just getting to grips with it after 5 months.

Just a thought of course and I may be totally wrong...
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# 12
GettingStraight
Old 23-06-2009, 1:18 AM
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Wow Bozo, that's quite some dissection... I posted that message originally in that context as I hadn't planned to make it quite so openly known on here about my situation. You'll notice from my joined date right under my name that I'm very new to posting here. Whilst we have decided that we are definitely going to split, we are still living as amicably as possible as we are stuck in the same house right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldernotwiser View Post
But if you're not working you could be claiming JSA and LHA/CTB for a flat. There doesn't seem to be any financial benefit for you to still be living in the family house, as far as I can see.
Well, for a start we're tied into the tenancy in our current place, for which the landlord holds a sizeable deposit. There's no way either of us can afford the 1200 pcm rent on our own to stay here right now (housing and council tax benefit pay less than half the rent as it is). Before anyone else starts jumping to conclusions about our situation, we moved in here when I was earning close to a 6-figure salary and we were still very much together as a couple...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESA View Post
When does your 6 months run out?
At the end of October.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bestpud View Post
I'm always a little suspicious of people who say they want to carry on living together after they split, as I think that situation would drive most people mad! I'm even more suspicious when they seem to have been struggling financially as a couple and want to claim benefits.
Gotta love how some people just think the worst without knowing all the facts As I said above, up until the end of last year I/we was/were not struggling at all financially. Unfortunately since then I was made redundant from my job & not been able to find a new one, so I/we have run out of savings to support myself/us.

I've never had to claim benefits before, so really don't have a clue how the system works. I have spent over two hours on the phone to various different people today alone & am still none the wiser.

For example, I have apparently been granted housing benefit which has been backdated to when I originally made my claim. However, no-one seems to be able to tell me how much I'll be getting, it's going to take another 3 weeks until I get it and no-one seems to know why they have only backdated the claim to 6 days after the date on my forms. When I asked why the payment was going to take so long, the guy on the phone was able to change the date to next week. Why on earth they were holding out for so long originally is beyond me...
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# 13
Oldernotwiser
Old 23-06-2009, 8:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GettingStraight View Post


Well, for a start we're tied into the tenancy in our current place, for which the landlord holds a sizeable deposit. There's no way either of us can afford the 1200 pcm rent on our own to stay here right now (housing and council tax benefit pay less than half the rent as it is). Before anyone else starts jumping to conclusions about our situation, we moved in here when I was earning close to a 6-figure salary and we were still very much together as a couple...

...
Presumably you signed the tenancy agreement before your financial worries started so the tenancy must be about due to finish as you say these started at the end of last year.

As you have a sizeable deposit there's likely to be enough to split between two households, with you claiming JSA/LHA/CTB for a 1 bed flat whilst your wife finds a smaller house that she can afford on her earnings and tax credits.

It should mean that you only have a short while to carry on living in this difficult situation.
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# 14
Mips
Old 23-06-2009, 9:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldernotwiser View Post
Presumably you signed the tenancy agreement before your financial worries started so the tenancy must be about due to finish as you say these started at the end of last year.

As you have a sizeable deposit there's likely to be enough to split between two households, with you claiming JSA/LHA/CTB for a 1 bed flat whilst your wife finds a smaller house that she can afford on her earnings and tax credits.

It should mean that you only have a short while to carry on living in this difficult situation.

Is it fair for him to move into a 1 bedroom flat though if there are children involved?

Surely for the sake of the kids, both parents need to have suitable accommodation.

What is the DWPs view on this?


To the OP - how haven't you killed each other? Me and my husband split up and I had to get him out... he was.. and still is... trying to send me insane!
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# 15
GettingStraight
Old 23-06-2009, 10:08 AM
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Well unfortunately I don't think "fair" comes into it when you're dealing with benefits. You seem to get the absolute bare minimum the state thinks will keep a roof over your head & that's about it (if you have no dependants living with you). I have no doubt that the kids & their mother will get enough benefits when the time comes to be able to live comfortably.

We are lucky enough to be able to tolerate eachother most of the time right now. Mainly for the sake of the children.

We have about 4 months left on the tenancy in our current house. I'm hoping that I'll be able to find a job before then so I can stay here as it's a very nice place to live. Obviously if that doesn't happen I need to start seriously thinking about where I'm going to go from here.
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# 16
Mips
Old 23-06-2009, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GettingStraight View Post
Well unfortunately I don't think "fair" comes into it when you're dealing with benefits. You seem to get the absolute bare minimum the state thinks will keep a roof over your head & that's about it (if you have no dependants living with you). I have no doubt that the kids & their mother will get enough benefits when the time comes to be able to live comfortably.

We are lucky enough to be able to tolerate eachother most of the time right now. Mainly for the sake of the children.

We have about 4 months left on the tenancy in our current house. I'm hoping that I'll be able to find a job before then so I can stay here as it's a very nice place to live. Obviously if that doesn't happen I need to start seriously thinking about where I'm going to go from here.
Surely though both parents have to have decent homes and enough bedrooms to be able to share care of the children? :confused:
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# 17
GettingStraight
Old 23-06-2009, 11:32 AM
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Sounds sensible doesn't it, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't work like that... Whoever has custody of the children gets the benefits associated with caring for them, whilst the other parent is expected to pay maintenance (if they earn anything).

At least that's what I can gather from what I've heard.
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# 18
SomeBozo
Old 23-06-2009, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GettingStraight View Post
Sounds sensible doesn't it, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't work like that... Whoever has custody of the children gets the benefits associated with caring for them, whilst the other parent is expected to pay maintenance (if they earn anything).

At least that's what I can gather from what I've heard.

What exactly is wrong with that?

Bozo
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# 19
Oldernotwiser
Old 23-06-2009, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Dippychick View Post
Is it fair for him to move into a 1 bedroom flat though if there are children involved?

Surely for the sake of the kids, both parents need to have suitable accommodation.

What is the DWPs view on this?


To the OP - how haven't you killed each other? Me and my husband split up and I had to get him out... he was.. and still is... trying to send me insane!
Do you really think that public money should pay for 2X3 bedroomed houses just because a couple have chosen to separate? It's not a question of fairness but of common sense!
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# 20
Oldernotwiser
Old 23-06-2009, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Dippychick View Post
Surely though both parents have to have decent homes and enough bedrooms to be able to share care of the children? :confused:
Why on earth should you think that? Benefits will fund one home for the children but not two!
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