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Can anyone help with these Benefits Questions please?

(19 Posts)
Scottishthreeberry16 Tue 26-Jul-16 07:00:33

Looks like me and dh will split in September. He is currently the sole earner (£60k). He said he will still pay mortgage, bills, costs for dd (12 and 15).

I'll be a FT student single mother until Jan 2017 then hope to get a FT job. I currently work part-time - less than an hour/week over the year.

Can anyone help with these questions please?

1. Would I be eligible to claim for tax credits? Is it just based on my income or does it take into a/c that exh will be paying household fuel bills, council tax, maintenance, mortgage?

2. We currently have Child Benefit but pay it back each year. It's in my name. Do I still have to pay back?

I'm not used to the benefit system as not really claimed in a long time.

3. Is it easy enough to take dh's name off one of the bank accounts we have or do I need to set a separate one up in my name only? We've only had joint ones before now.

AtSea1979 Tue 26-Jul-16 07:07:56

You will be entitled to child tax credit but it's not an awful lot, much better on working tax credits (minimum 16 hours). They won't take in to account DH paying bills etc.
You both need to attend the bank and they will take name off, otherwise close and set up new one.

Scottishthreeberry16 Wed 27-Jul-16 02:33:39

Thanks AtSea. I only work an hour a week so would need to up that considerably.

Guess WTC would kick in if I secured a FT job once retraining is over

justjuanmorebeer Wed 27-Jul-16 15:16:41

Yes that is right it would as long as you earn under the threshold. I think with 2 children it is around 24k but you can use the online calculators to check. How much will you hope to earn?

You would be entitled to child tax credits now as your household income is under 16k. Do you have any student bursaries or loans coming in?

justjuanmorebeer Wed 27-Jul-16 15:17:25

Open yourself a new account now just in your name. You can close the joint ones later.

BrianButterfield Wed 27-Jul-16 15:17:59

You would possibly fall foul of tax credits if DH is paying bills for you - I've had problems claiming as single because of this (and actually he wasn't even paying them, they were just still in joint names for a short while).

MollyRedskirts Wed 27-Jul-16 15:25:50

Chiming in to say tax credits are really clamping down on single claimants deemed to have a financial relationship with someone else. That can be as simple as having your ex-DH's name on a bill, like BrianButterworth said.

Maintenance isn't taken into account as income for tax credits (because ex-partners are notoriously unreliable at paying it, so it'd be unfair to include it) so you would be far better off getting your ex-husband NOT to pay the bills, or be named on them, but to give you that amount in maintenance so you can pay them yourself.

MollyRedskirts Wed 27-Jul-16 15:33:45

As for the child benefit, you'd be claiming it as a single person, so it would go entirely on your income. You'd get to keep it based on what you've said.

Bank accounts - get your finances as separate as you can. It's not worth the heartache of having your tax credits stopped (if you rely on that money) while they investigate.

Disclaimer: Clearly I am only a randomer on the internet and I could say anything, like I'm an ex-HMRC employee (wink) so do please take proper advice. Have a play around with the calculator by Turn2Us and maybe speak to Citizen's Advice closer to the time, when you have definite income figures. The tax credit helpline can actually be helpful too, if you have a general question about what would count as your income.

GettingScaredNow Wed 27-Jul-16 15:38:05

I would call them and enquire how it will work if he is going to pay the mortgage and bills as tax credits don't need you to live together to be considered partners.
So even if your splitting and he's moving out they may consider that you are operating as a couple.

Scottishthreeberry16 Wed 27-Jul-16 23:06:01

Thanks all. Really useful advice. I expect 24-28k - if I m lucky, though if a FT job doesn't come up then I'll take part-time so it'd be pro-rata on that.

Scottishthreeberry16 Wed 27-Jul-16 23:08:16

Student bursary for this year was about £3000 I think but it finishes November this year

dothedab Wed 27-Jul-16 23:09:07

How would the tax credits department know who was paying the bills or mortgage?

Scottishthreeberry16 Thu 28-Jul-16 06:42:16

I don't know as I don't currently claim but I expect that they ask what are your outgoings and whether you have a mortgage

BrianButterfield Thu 28-Jul-16 07:04:28

You have to send bank statements, copies of bills etc - it's very intrusive angry and they still got it wrong in my case even though I tried to explain the background (not really reasonable to expect entirely separate finances from someone you spilt up with couple of months before when you have DC and a joint mortgage Imo..)

dothedab Thu 28-Jul-16 07:08:30

Eh? I have just filled in the form and it asks for last year's income and obviously details about who lives in the home. That's it!

I have never had to provide details of my outgoings or mortgage or bank statements.

dothedab Thu 28-Jul-16 07:09:29

Oh and you have to provide details of childcare costs if relevant.

BrianButterfield Thu 28-Jul-16 09:55:00

Well they wrote to me and asked for a huge amount of stuff - mortgage statement, electricity bill, childcare bills, bank statements, council tax bill, phone bill, water bill. And then concluded I wasn't single. Even though I provided similar stuff to Income Suport who decided I was a lone parent after all.

MollyRedskirts Thu 28-Jul-16 10:04:47

They use credit reference agencies for security and fraud detection, for anyone wondering. That shows if you're financially linked on things like mortgages, credit cards and loans, etc, but like I said earlier, there's a massive drive on reducing fraudulent single claims. A lot of people putting in a new single claim when it's previously been a joint one are simply asked to send information, and the smallest things can throw a spanner in the works. My friend had her claim stopped for investigation because her ex-husband was listed alongside her on a nursery invoice, even though her bank statements showed she paid the nursery bill herself. I can't emphasise enough how important it is to separate your finances if you're going to rely on tax credits money, because they can and do stop claims for spurious reasons.

Girlsthatsing Thu 28-Jul-16 18:39:03

I didn't know that.

I claimed for a couple of years and then out of the blue they asked me for evidence that my dc lived with me and I had to hunt around for toys r us receipts, school certificates and appointment letters. Maybe they do random spot checks or they have suspicions or even reports from people (my ex was always trying to drop me in it.)

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