What is Classed as Living Together For Benefits? Benefits

If you’ve been looking into the benefits that you may be entitled to, it’s likely that you’ve come across some that can be affected by your relationship. These are called means tested benefits and they include Universal Credit amongst other popular benefits. It’s very important that you have a good understanding of how having a partner affects your benefits to ensure that you apply correctly and receive the correct amount. To help with this, we’ve put together the following guide.

Why Do You Have To Specify That You Have a Partner?

Means tested benefits look at the savings and earnings of you and your partner to ensure that you receive the right amount of money in relation to your situation. If you qualify under the government’s definition of ‘living together’ you will be expected to make a joint application for Universal Credit. It’s also important to know that even if your partner isn’t eligible to apply, their income and savings could be considered when approving your application.

Once you have made a claim for your benefits, it’s vital that you then keep the Department for Work and Pensions up to date with any changes to you and your partner’s circumstances. A failure to do this could end up resulting in a penalty.

What Classes as Living Together?

According to the government’s advice for couples, there are certain parameters to define a couple. This is any two people that live in the same household and are:

  • married to each other
  • civil partners of each other
  • living together as if they’re married

If these factors apply to you and your partner, and you’re both eligible to apply for something like Universal Credit, you will be required to make a joint claim. To do this, you will each have to create an online account. Once the first of you is set up, you will receive a partner code which the second person can then use to link the two accounts together. From here, you will then have 28 days to finalise your claim application.

What are Means Tested Benefits?

Means tested benefits are those that fluctuate depending on the savings and income of you and/or your partner. Whilst arguably the most common of these is Universal Credit, each of the following are also popular means tested benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Council Tax Support
  • Tax Credits
  • Income-based JSA
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance

When it comes to this type of benefit, certain amounts of savings can often be ignored. For example, when it comes to Universal Credit, the first £6,000 of your savings isn’t taken into account. However, there is also often a maximum amount that you can have before becoming ineligible e.g. £16,000 for Universal Credit.

Get Welfare Advice in Stafford and South Staffordshire From BBO

If you’re interested in applying for Universal Credit, you can find out whether you’re eligible and how to apply in our guide to the benefit. For any other benefits, simply search our knowledge hub for any relevant articles. Here at Building Better Opportunities, we are committed to providing welfare advice and employment support to people all over Stafford and South Staffordshire.

Take advantage of our support and advice by either contacting one of our advocates or attending one of our drop-in sessions. The coronavirus pandemic has been tough for a lot of people and we’re here to help.