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To think the current benefits system sets single parents up to commit fraud?

(378 Posts)
Littlefluffyclouds81 Wed 18-May-16 23:13:06

I am a single parent, I'm currently a student and earn a small amount from self employment, so receive some housing benefit, CTC, WTC and CB.

Let's say, hypothetically, my bf moved in with me (there is no real danger of that happening for a very long time, but let's pretend). He earns £50k a year. If he moved in, as far as the system would see it, my children are his children, and therefore he would be jointly financially responsible for them. I would instantly lose all of my benefits, leaving me around £1100 a month worse off. This would leave me in a position of being no longer financially independent, and feeling like I had to go to him, cap in hand, to ask for money. Money, which often would be spent buying things for my kids.

My bf is a very nice chap and all that, but I doubt he'd cough up a grand a month to provide for me and my children. I doubt there's many blokes that would. His dd would also lose out, as through suddenly having gained two extra children, the maintenance she is entitled to would go right down.

Bearing all this in mind, I can see why many single parents are tempted to move their partner in 'on the sly'. Of course this is very risky, but only for the single parent (usually the female). As the benefits claimant it is the single parent who will be prosecuted, the partner they'd moved in would have no repercussions, even though no doubt they'd done quite well in terms of their own living costs, probably chipping in a token amount towards food and bills.

I think this makes it very hard for single parents to ever have a serous relationship, unless they happened to be a high earner themselves, so benefits weren't an issue. Or I suppose if both adults were on benefits, as they wouldn't lose out there. I'm not sure what the answer is, other than a citizens wage (which will never happen).

seeyounearertime Wed 18-May-16 23:18:06

Why would someone, male or female, move into a house and not pay towards it? Why would your partner not contribute towards their family? Why is this: "I doubt there's many blokes that would." In your post when most people that move in with someone know exactly what the package they're getting?

I'm not saying there are people out there that would move in with someone and not contribute, but I'd imagine they would be rare. Certainly the 2times I've moved in with some one the money I earned was considered house hold income, which is exactly what it is.

AndNowItsSeven Wed 18-May-16 23:18:14

If your boyfriend chooses to move in with you the you live as a family and share income or don't live together.

seeyounearertime Wed 18-May-16 23:19:28

As for the answer.
Have a boyfriend that chooses to love with you and understands you come as a package with children, if they're not willing to be part of the family then dont make them part of the family.

fastdaytears Wed 18-May-16 23:19:41

I don't understand. If your boyfriend moved in then he would contribute towards your costs surely? So why would your benefits need to stay the same?

fastdaytears Wed 18-May-16 23:21:33

Oh, and happy to say that when I was tiny my mum's boyfriend (now my stepdad of a million years) did contribute financially towards our needs in a big way. I don't think that's weird, but I do think he's awesome.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Wed 18-May-16 23:22:12

You need to have higher standards when it comes to choosing a partner. A dick who doesn't understand how family works isn't worth getting involved with.

blimeyalldecentnamesaregone Wed 18-May-16 23:23:26

The system is not ideal, no but nobody is being 'set up to commit fraud'. The system is not quite right, but that doesn't take away people's morals.

WorraLiberty Wed 18-May-16 23:25:13

I can kind of see what you mean in that she would become immediately financially dependant upon him.

But a couple who are serious about setting up home together for the foreseeable future, will sit down and work out their finances together to see if it's viable at that moment in time. If it's not, then they'll wait until it is or until he's happy to provide for them all.

Having said that, ime far too many people rush into living together especially if one of them (often the female) has a 'ready made home' to offer. But if she's not able to be financially independent, then it's best to slow down the rush.

I think most people I know move in together within less than a year.

shazzarooney999 Wed 18-May-16 23:26:03

If your partner is not willing to contribute then is he really worth having? I see it not far from here a single lady who is absolutely raking it in and yes its annoying, the partner parks his vechicle around 2 or 3 times a week even though he lives there full time. The laughable thing i she goes on about others! lmao, I just ignore it its none of my business.

Vickyyyy Wed 18-May-16 23:26:14

Some of the rules regarding when one can and cant stay over to be classed as not living with you are a bit dodgy, thats what I thought this would be about when I clicked it.

But the situation you describe...if me and hubby broke up and he moved out, then I found another guy who I was serious enough about to want to live with me, I would be making damn sure he didn't think it was just me and was certain that he also wanted to take on my children such I wouldn't expect there to be a problem with any 'going cap in hand' or whatever. Finances are joint, simple as in my house.

I don't think the system sets people up to commit fraud in the way you describe. The 'staying over rules though...thats a different subject entirely and I DO think that is set up in a way as to 'catch people out' doing something they aren't actually doing.

WorraLiberty Wed 18-May-16 23:27:08

And no, nobody's being set up to commit fraud. They just need to think long and hard about whether the situation is doable, until their earnings can become more equal.

WalkingBlind Wed 18-May-16 23:28:43

Actually I agree with the OP. You can't expect someone to pay for yours and someone else's kids entire life just because they are in a relationship with you, which is how the system sees it. I understand chipping in but the claimant would have to pay pretty much £1000 more a month and if the relationship is new or the partner doesn't earn high amounts that's a big strain to put completely on somebody else. It's asking another person to be solely responsible for the entire family

Janefromuptheshops Wed 18-May-16 23:28:46


I was also a student, HB, CTC and CT benefit. 3 DC all mine. DP moved in and I came off everything. I'm now financially dependent on him and he provides for all of us (DC get CSA obviously).

Yes it puts me in the situation of being dependent on him but it wouldn't have of occurred to me to commit fraud by carrying on claimjng!

Janefromuptheshops Wed 18-May-16 23:29:55

I made it clear to him before he moved in how much I would lose in benefits, how much the bills were etc. He accepted.

WorraLiberty Wed 18-May-16 23:31:28

WalkingBlind, that's why it's never a good idea to move someone into your home if the relationship is new.

Well it's one of many reasons actually.

Arkwright Wed 18-May-16 23:32:17

Do you get any maintenance from your DC's father? The whole system needs to be changed so that absent fathers must pay. So many seem to get away with it.

To answer your question of course your DP should contribute towards your life together.

Littlefluffyclouds81 Wed 18-May-16 23:32:42

There really is no danger of this happening, I was just using my bf as an example. I suppose, and maybe AIBU here, that as the much lower earner it would be a huge imbalance of who contributed what, which would perhaps make the relationship feel quite unequal? And little things, like buying my DC a comic, for example, I'd think twice about as I wouldn't want to be seen as frittering away money that he'd given me on rubbish.

I don't think I'm explaining very well why I'd feel uncomfortable with it. Maybe because I've been financially independent (albeit with the assistance of benefits - if that's not a contradiction) for a long time, and I wouldn't like to lose that. I've never been in a relationship with joint finances, so I don't really have a working knowledge of it.

I know people DO make it work, but IME that tends to be people who go on and have a child or children of their own, which I think changes the dynamics again.

Iflyaway Wed 18-May-16 23:33:48

All the more reason to keep your life, house, finances separate.

Nothing wrong with being married (or not) having two households, my neighbours do it and are the only ones not getting divorced

I.m of the school that says NEVER give up your independence as a woman/mother. Especially when your kids need a room to come back to for whatever reason... (after uni/relationship breakup etc.).

MiddleClassProblem Wed 18-May-16 23:34:08

I think you mean when two single people not on benefits move in together they both have their separate incomes so have indepence but as on benefits you would lose that? But those people still (in theory) both pay their rent/food/utilities etc for the shares accommodation.
But I do see what you are saying that if he moved in he would be the main breadwinner so to speak but your situation is also like that because you are still studying so potentially you will have some income of your own, not from benefits, in the future.
Yes moving in now, he would have to compromise his finances but people compromise many different things moving in with someone else. Some have to relocate which can mean a pay cut or even unemployment.

SaucyJack Wed 18-May-16 23:34:28

Nobody is forced to have a cocklodger move in with them.

If one accepts that for themselves and their children, then that's on their head really.

Littlefluffyclouds81 Wed 18-May-16 23:39:58

In terms of maintenance, no I get very little, but there's no way I would get more than I'm getting. I guess that would change things, if you're receiving a wedge in maintenance you'd be able to contribute more. But I think that's also unfair as it stands, let's say I was getting generous maintainance, that would remain unchanged by my bf moving in, but his DC would receive less, which isn't really fair on his ex.

whois Wed 18-May-16 23:42:46

Why on eart would you move a man into your home who didn;t want to be part of your family?

If you've got kids, you can't just be moving in random boyfriends who aren't committed to the family unit. If you want a boyfriend, date him and don;t live with him. If you want a committed partner who wants to be part of the family unit and pay towards it then by all means move him in.

Littlefluffyclouds81 Wed 18-May-16 23:45:36

I really don't want to move him in, it's just an example! We live 3 hours apart and for various reasons neither of us will be able to relocate for a long time. and by that I mean he won't be able to relocate as where I live Is much nicer grin

GretchenBeckett Wed 18-May-16 23:50:41

I'm alone parent of three on benefits. Moving in with DP next Year. He's fully prepared to financially support us all and he's actually just bought a bigger house so they'll be enough room for us all.
He fully accepts that if he want to be with me it means having three dc to take care of too.

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