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can my unemployed ex partner claim benefits if we still live in the same house?

(12 Posts)
splitupinsamehouse Sun 30-Sep-12 23:16:36

Me and ex have three kids.I work, he is long term unemployed. Not married, house is mine.
Been effectively split up for over 2 years ( his reluctance to work is a major reason for split ) but have a cordial agreement he keeps living in my house (sep bedrooms) . from the outside people probably view us as a couple , but you don;'t exactly shout from the rooftops you live in sep rooms and have not has sex in over 2 years, do you?
Up till now I have paid for everything, put money in a joint account which he freely spends on household stuff,food for family etc. I know this is not ideal but the kids are pretty happy and he has NO income and I would not want him to be homeless.He is their dad and I don't hate him.

Just today a friend asked me why he did not claim benefits. Frankly it has never occurred to him (or me) . This is my question.

If we got rid of the joint account, could he claim benefits? Could I charge him rent under the rent a room scheme?

thanks to anyone who knows . My online digging has not revealed an answer

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Oct-12 06:47:09

this section of the DirectGov site about tax credits might help answer your question. Even though you are in separate bedrooms you are currently still living "as though you are married or in a civil partnership" and the joint account supports that status. Plenty of married couples have separate bedrooms, after all. If you wanted to redefine your ex partner as simply a lodger you would have to separate all finances, charge him rent and so forth. Even then, you may struggle to convince someone that the father of your children is just a house guest. Suggest he makes a claim for JSA details here and follows it up.

splitupinsamehouse Mon 01-Oct-12 08:06:20

Thanks cogito.
Somehow it just seems wrong to charge him rent.
But for a long time it has seemed wrong that he just lives off me.

RedHelenB Mon 01-Oct-12 08:20:25

Does he look after the children?

splitupinsamehouse Mon 01-Oct-12 08:32:00

We both do. I work part time .the children are at secondary school, don't need much looking after.
He does some of the household stuff.

Whitecherry Mon 01-Oct-12 10:02:48

It will be very difficult

And really, it will be jobseekers allowance that he would get, and for that he has to be actively seeking work. Housing benefit will be difficult.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Oct-12 10:03:27

If you don't charge him rent and pay for his upkeep besides what incentive does he have to get off his backside, move out, find a job or anything else?

purpleroses Mon 01-Oct-12 14:25:58

If you're still living under the same roof as the father of your children - sex or no sex - they're going to say that you are living as a couple.

You'd be better off financially if he moved out, then he could claim benefits. And you could get a paying lodger in instead if you want to make some money.

RedHelenB Mon 01-Oct-12 16:13:02

You are still linked though - he's a SAHD and your finances are tied.

If you want to break up then really the best thing would be for him to move it so that it's not confusing for benefits or for your children.

Whitecherry Mon 01-Oct-12 20:49:55

The benefits office would put you straight should you apply anyway op

splitupinsamehouse Mon 01-Oct-12 22:19:11

Thanks all for very sensible advice. I find it so hard to make the break. I am almost certain the children would be extremely upset if he moved out . I know this is not the case for everyone

pamhill64 Tue 02-Oct-12 22:12:00

A friend found herself in a similar situation but both were working, although she was on a low income. After about 18 months of separate rooms, even separate lounges she applied for working tax credit in her own right but was obviously declined as the benefits people considered them a couple. Things got nasty when he wouldnt pay ANYTHING for the kids or house, and kept telling nasty stories to the kids, not taking any notice of them and then disappearing for days. She eventually found out he was dating another woman but he kept claiming she was "going mental". When he took this other woman for a week in Rome, but "couldnt afford" to buy the kids any school shoes, she met them off the plane and told him shed changed the locks and sent his stuff to his dads! It took him about a month but he started taking the kids out for a few hours each week and is going to take them on holiday in October. The kids are doing fine, actually better than before because kids arent stupid! AND she can now claim what is rightfully hers via benefits and has more excess money to fund things for the kids than before.
Good luck with whatever you decide, but Id ask you to remember than being divorced from you doesnt mean hes divorced his kids. He sounds like a good dad so that shouldnt change just because you dont live together.

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