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Lone parent considered cohabiting/in a partnership

(61 Posts)
BantyCustards Fri 13-Jan-17 12:38:27

I have just been told by a compliance officer that I am not allowed to have my boyfriend stay over at my house - ever - as if I do I will no longer be considered a line parent.

I challenged this asking how on Earth one is supposed to have a relationship and progress that relationship to becoming a partnership if that is the case - how are a couple supposed to know if they're right for each other? How is one supposed to know if their boyfriend is 'safe' without spending time overnight with them as the relationship progresses?

This cannot possibly be true, can it?

AndNowItsSeven Fri 13-Jan-17 12:41:25

My dh never spent the night before we were married neither did we have sex . It really wasn't necessary to find out if we were " right for each other"
Don't understand what you mean by safe?

hooliodancer Fri 13-Jan-17 12:50:24

They couldn't possibly know if it's the odd night though could they?

Of course you need to know if you are right for each other. What a strange response!

Trifleorbust Fri 13-Jan-17 12:50:32

You cannot be disallowed from having guests in your own home. I would ask to speak to a supervisor to clarify Government policy here, as it would surely be open to legal challenge as an infringement of the right to a family life under the HRA.

fallenempires Fri 13-Jan-17 12:58:25

I have heard so many different versions of this rule.What are they doing a compliance check for?Is it an HMRC one?I had one of those a few years ago as X(H)'s name is still on the mortgage so I had to post off reams of paperwork.
How do they know that you have a bf anyway?I can't understand why it matters if you are not financially tied and has his own address where he pays all his utilities.

SheldonCRules Fri 13-Jan-17 13:12:58

If sleeping in the same bed is the only way to check compatibility you're checking for the wrong thing.

You can have as many relationships as you like, what you can't do is claim to be single and take state money if you are in a relationship.

Trifleorbust Fri 13-Jan-17 13:17:53

You can have as many relationships as you like, what you can't do is claim to be single and take state money if you are in a relationship.

Of course you can, as long as you live separately.

kateclarke Fri 13-Jan-17 13:20:44

Shocking answer op. What's wrong with people? There are guidelines around what constitutes living together. They are about stuff like shared finances. Seek more advice maybe from the cab and ignore the vipers.

BantyCustards Fri 13-Jan-17 14:43:25

So Sheldon - you feel that if you go out on several dates with someone and wish to continue that you should immediately co-habit, share finances/bills etc etc?

SusanDelfino Fri 13-Jan-17 14:50:48

You can be in a relationship, just not share finances!

GreatFuckability Fri 13-Jan-17 14:53:48

That's just utter utter nonsense.

DJBaggySmalls Fri 13-Jan-17 14:54:22

People wanted a crack down on benefits and this is what happened.
It used to be that you could have someone stay for up to 3 nights a week, as long as you didnt share finances. That allowed a relationship to progress.

Its crazy IMO, and the dog in the manger attitudes come out on this kind of thread.

MuseumOfCurry Fri 13-Jan-17 15:02:31

Spend the night at his when your children are with their father?

RebootYourEngine Fri 13-Jan-17 15:11:26

I have a few questions.

How long have you been with your bf? Does he contribute to bills etc?
How many nights a week does he stay over? Do you ever stay at his place?

c3pu Fri 13-Jan-17 15:52:22

It's not that straightforward. The criteria that such situations are judged by can be numerous and intricate.

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/474014/dmgch11.pdf

www.gov.uk/government/publications/decision-makers-guide-vol-3-subjects-common-to-all-benefits-staff-guide

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 13-Jan-17 15:57:02

The only criteria should be if the other person financially contributes to the household.

I'll bet serious money that this affects women massively more than men. No one gives a shit about single mothers. That's what happens when you vilify sections of society. Makes it easier to make their lives, and those of their children, massively harder.

BantyCustards Fri 13-Jan-17 16:00:26

I don't have one - I asked hypothetically because the compliance officer seemed to think that whether or not myself and my ex were even on friendly terms or not would have a hearing on my claim.

Staying over at a boyfriend's house would also be considered as co-haniting for the purposes of claiming according to the compliance officer

Somerville Fri 13-Jan-17 16:23:21

Yeah, the rules are tough.

When I phoned to report that my circumstances were changing and I thought I may no longer qualify for widowed parents allowance (because I had got engaged and my fiancé was moving in within a few months) I was asked if he already stayed over. It flummoxed me a bit - according to the WPA criteria it is only when one "starts living with someone as a couple" that they become ineligible. We had plenty of evidence that we weren't living together as a couple before this though, and actually the amount of nights we stayed over with each other was very low, because of childcare issues and work commitments.

In the end did ask for the benefit to be stopped a month before the date he was moving in. Because I knew he might stay over a bit more than usual in the run up to that, and I wasn't sure exactly what date he would get a tenancy agreement signed to let his flat out. I'd rather err on the side of caution then risk fraud.

BantyCustards Fri 13-Jan-17 16:26:41

You're engaged, Somerville.

That's quite different to having a boyfriend.

Oddbins Fri 13-Jan-17 16:27:51

It's true.
My boyfriend had his own home finances completely separate and I have children with additional needs so struggle to get sitters etc but I was told that if someone stays over night regularly then it's classed as cohabiting. I asked how often is "regular" and was told that one night a month is enough to be classified.

Somerville Fri 13-Jan-17 16:33:43

Well I'd just got engaged, and the time they were querying was prior to that, IYSWIM?

As it was, 'just' being engaged didn't make me ineligible for the benefit. But not being engaged but him staying over could have made me ineligible for the benefit. The key seemed to be having significant evidence that we were not living together as a couple - such as each owning our own property, paying separate utility bills, work in cities 100 miles apart, etc..
If he had been, say, living with his parents, or sofa surfing, we wouldn't have had that evidence and I can imagine in those kind of circumstances that I could have been accused of benefit fraud.

It was pretty scary for a few days - and upsetting, especially as WPA is calculated based on my late husband's NI contributions.

Somerville Fri 13-Jan-17 16:35:00

And saying that, I don't know whether the criteria for other benefits are the same as WPA. I think they might be even tougher.

DontTouchTheMoustache Fri 13-Jan-17 16:39:29

Sounds like you will need to have some afternoon delight and then send him on his merry way, at least he won't keep you awake with snoring and farts....
In all seriousness though it does seem very extreme.

ProudBadMum Fri 13-Jan-17 16:43:17

One night a month is co habiting?! grin that is ridiculous

People moan when single mothers bring man after man into their home yet mention benefits at all and you are expected to move in with the guy after the first date grin

You need to move him in with you and your children and get him to pay for you all as well if you can.

Or just ignore them and have him over a couple of nights. That's what I'd do and have done.

As a single mother I still had a sex life. I was co habiting with anyone for longer than a couple of hour wink

NameChangeNoreen Fri 13-Jan-17 16:48:30

For DWP purposes, there is no set amount of days that your partner can or can't stay over.
If a compliance officer received an allegation that you were living with a partner, they would arrange a visit or office interview with you during which they would complete a CP2LT form.

This forms asks questions like 'who pays the bills?' Who cooks the dinner? Who does the washing? Etc. It is used to determine whether you are 'maintaining the same household' and subsequently whether you should be classed as 'LTAMC' living together as a married couple. The compliance officer sends this form off to a decision maker who then decides if you are 'LT' for benefit purposes.

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