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Partner moving in-advice on benefits

(4 Posts)
groanandmoan Tue 01-Jul-14 18:32:32

Hi, this is my very first post. I have been a single mum (one child with a severe disability) for some time. But, I met someone a few years ago and we want to start a life together. At the moment he is unemployed (so am I - I am a full time carer

I am not au fait with all the benefits systems. I receive child tax credits and of course DLA for my child and child benefit. I have mixed info from online sites saying what I should do. I can't afford to mess up my benefits as we barely make it right now. My soon to be live in partner is looking for work, but it's hard going. He used to be self employed but hasn't worked in a year and has no savings.

To get to the point, what should I do? Should I claim for income support, or should he claim for income support for both of us? The Jobs benefits office aren't too helpful (we are in Northern Ireland) and I don't want to make a wrong move I will regret later. It's great loving someone but it's not so great if all of us end up living in poverty. (he can continue to stay at his sister's house)

thanks so much for the help. I'm hoping someone has some info on what the best course should be for me.

groanandmoan Tue 01-Jul-14 18:34:32

p.s. I own (well I have a mortgage) my home. I am divorced. Ex left the country and we agreed never to see each other again and I didn't want anything from him (payments) Courts were happy with that.

MarcdeChampagne Wed 02-Jul-14 01:07:30

You will have to notify the DWP when he moves in (and council, if you get council tax support as well - not sure how it works in NI). They will add him to your IS claim. Aren't you already getting Income Support? You should be eligible if you are getting Carer's Allowance. What rate of DLA does your child get?

But, if your DP is unemployed and has no savings, the additional amount paid for him will be quite low and realistically you could find yourself much worse off if he moves in. If he starts work then your tax credits and any means-tested benefits (IS and council tax support) would be affected, and he'd be expected to make up the shortfall in costs for your child. It's important that you agree between you that he's prepared to cover these costs, especially if you get no maintenance. Once his earnings go over a certain amount, you may end up with no tax credits at all (though DLA would not be affected).

It really is worth getting up to speed with the benefits systems as you have a child with disabilities - there is quite a bit of help out there, but often the information is not easy to find. Do you get the disability element of tax credits, for example (you get a higher rate of child tax credits if your child gets middle/higher rate care)? Contact a Family has a good helpline to work out benefits eligibility, though not sure if they deal with NI. If not, then there is probably an equivalent helpline. It is well worth getting a full benefits check because the DWP won't offer this kind of information and the way different benefits work together can be quite complex.

groanandmoan Wed 02-Jul-14 11:12:32

Hi, I have never received income support. I suppose I should get an assessment. My son receives high rate disability and I receive high rate care. Funny how they know when people owe THEM money, but they don't advise when they owe US money. thank you I will have to make an appointment for benefits check. It would be great not to have to rely on benefits at ALL

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