Cookies on The Parent Connection: The couple connection uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use the couple connection, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies from this site.


Tags: Benefits, benefit entitlements, separating, getting divorced, HMRC, tax credits, citizens advice
Content Types: What to expect

Once you’re no longer living together, you’re classed as separated for tax and benefit purposes. Separating from your partner may mean that you become entitled to new benefits and tax credits or higher amounts of benefits you already receive. If you or your ex-partner were claiming benefits for the family before you separated, tell Jobcentre Plus and/ or HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about your change in circumstances straight away, to avoid being overpaid or losing out on money.

Qualifying for extra benefits can make a big difference to the options that could be available to you, for example, in terms of affordability of housing. It is usually worthwhile, financially at least, if the parent with care of the children can work at least 16 hours a week as this allows them to qualify for Working Tax Credit. This benefit can make a substantial difference to a single parent’s income.

If you have permanently separated from your partner, you can claim benefits and tax credits as a single person straight away. You may not be able to claim if your separation is temporary or on a trial basis and there is a chance you may get back together. You can get advice on benefits and tax credits and help applying, from your local free advice centre, such as Citizens Advice or contact the Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline free on 0808 802 0925 for more advice.

Further detailed information can be found on page 4 of the factsheet 'Action to take when a relationship ends'   which is produced by the charity Gingerbread who provide expert advice and practical support for single parents. 

Follow this link for further information on what to expect when separating.

  This was of help to 0% of people  


  • Pc Bern Flag

    Hi Welshlily, Can I suggest that you post on the Forum so that you get more responses from the community as the possibility of losing your home must be so worrying. A good place to start would be to talk to Shelter for some general advice or your local CAB

    Sun 20, Dec 2015 at 10:37pm
  • User-anonymous Welshlily Flag

    Hi I'm currently separated from my partner but live in marital courters as he is in army, so I'm just after some advice on what to do

    Sat 19, Dec 2015 at 9:01pm