Can I claim benefits if my husband works? (3 Tips) 

This blog addresses whether an individual can claim benefits if their husband is employed. 

It details the main benefits one can access if their husband is working and the limitations, if any, that can be imposed on the amount of benefits you can receive due to joint income/savings courtesy your husband’s earnings when you make a claim. 

It also addresses what additional benefits you could receive that are available irrespective of your husband’s employment status. 

Can I claim benefits if my husband works? 

Yes. There are quite a few benefits that you can claim if your husband is working and you are not. There are certain conditions and requirements that need to be fulfilled in each case. 

Since we are referring to a husband this implies a marital status and not a civil partnership of long-term relationship. But largely the rules applicable are similar. 

If there are any doubts regarding the applicability of the entitlements based on your marital status, you should approach your local citizens advisory council to clarify the benefits you can receive. 

What are the benefits I can claim if my husband works ? 

Here we will list out the different benefits one can access and in later sections, describe them in detail. 

  • Universal Credit 
  • ‘New-style’ Job-seeker’s Allowance 
  • ‘New-Style’ Employment and Support Allowance 

Universal Credit 

You are eligible to receive Universal Credit if your husband/partner works and you don’t as long as you fulfill certain criteria. 

If you are out of work and you and your partner have less than £16,000 in savings between you. If your husband is working or self-employed and on a low income then you qualify for Universal Credit benefits. 

Universal credit has replaced a number of benefits and subsumed it under the UC rubric. 

So in your Universal Credit benefits, if you are eligible you will also receive the equivalent of  Housing Benefits, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, income-based Job-seeker’s Allowance and Income Support amongst others. 

You can receive the equivalent of all these if you are eligible. If you are married or in a civil partnership, you are supposed to apply for Universal Credit as a couple even if your husband/partner works. 

Your husband’s income will be taken into consideration while calculating your entitlement as a couple. Your application will be taken as an individual and your husband will receive a ‘partner code’ which will help merge their details and account with yours. 

Even if your husband does not qualify individually, you can qualify as a couple if you meet the requirements mentioned above and you will be privy to the benefits. Even if your husband/partner is not eligible, since they form part of your couple entitlements, their income/savings will be considered along with yours.

There are fixed amounts that married couples or partners are eligible to receive. The table below illustrates the current status of entitlement for couples. 

Standard Monthly Allowance if your assessment period ends prior to 6th October 2021Standard Monthly Allowance if assessment begins with effect from or after 6th October 2021
If you are part of a couple and are both under 25 years of age£490.60 (combined)£403.93 (combined)
If you are part of a couple and one of you is above 25 years of age£596.58 (combined )£509.91 (combined)

These are the standard amounts, but you could receive additional amounts if you have any disabilities or illnesses that do not permit you to work. You could also get more support if you care for a child or the child has disabilities etc. 

The total amount you receive , will, however, be subject to a ‘benefit cap’ on the basis of the maximum possible support you are permitted to receive. This also takes into consideration any other benefit schemes you are receiving from and the amount thereof. 

If you are already claiming these benefits then you may continue. But if you have a change of circumstance or you are contacted by the DWP , you may have to switch over to the Universal Credit regime. 

Universal Credit benefits will reduce in accordance with an increase in your husband’s earnings. 

But the limit is increased if you have a child or are a guardian for a minor. The limit is also raised when you have a disability that doesn’t allow you to work at all or work a certain number of hours. It also reduces if you receive housing benefits. 

‘New-Style’ Job-seeker’s Allowance 

The original Job-seeker’s Allowance was divided into income-based and contributory. Income based JSA has now been incorporated into the unemployment benefit component of the Universal Credit system. 

As a part of a couple, if your husband/partner is employed/working and you are unemployed, unable to work or between jobs, then you are eligible to claim the ‘new-style’ Job-seekers Allowance.  

As long as you have paid up sufficient National Insurance contributions or have enough NI credits, you can claim the new-style JSA. It also applies if you are working less than 16 hours a week and your husband is working full-time. 

It does not matter whether your husband is working or even if you have savings that exceed £16,000 between yourselves. 

Your husband’s earnings and savings will not be taken into consideration when granting you the new-style Jobseeker’s Allowance. But any pension you may be receiving could affect it. 

This is unlike the Universal Credit benefit, the amount of which also depends on your husband’s capital and income etc. and your total savings as a couple. 

You also would have to have worked or been an employee in the last 2 to 3 years and should have paid sufficient Class 1 National insurance contributions/credits for the same period of time. 

In addition, you can only claim the new-style JSA, if you are willing and able to look for work and prove that you are actively searching. This condition will be documented and maintained in the Claimant Commitment that you will enter into with your local job center and work coach. 

If you do not have a good reason for not searching for work, the JSA benefit will be revoked. 

‘ New-Style’ Employment and Support Allowance 

The ‘new-style’ ESA is a contributory benefit just like the new-style JSA. It is given to a person if they are unwell and unable to work at all or work to full capacity because of the illness or any disorder/disability. 

The receipt of the new-style ESA does not depend on whether your husband/partner works or not. If they are employed, you are still eligible and their income or capital does not affect how much you will receive. 

If you are receiving a pension, however, this may impact how much you get. If you get the new style ESA, your Universal Credit amount may be reduced, but you may still be able to claim them both together depending upon the National income contributions you have made or the credits you have received. 

You should provide a doctor’s not called the ‘fit or sick note’ to provoke your condition and consequently your eligibility for ESA benefits. You must also have worked sometime in the past 2-3- years and made sufficient National Insurance contributions/gained credits for the same period of time. 

This blog has addressed whether an individual can claim benefits if their husband is employed. 

It detailed the main benefits one can access if their husband is working and the limitations, if any, that can be imposed on the amount of benefits you can receive due to joint income/savings courtesy your husband’s earnings when you make a claim. 

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please do contact us and leave a message. We welcome your input. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Can I claim benefits if my husband works ? 

Can I claim disability benefits if my husband is working/employed ? 

Yes, disability benefits are extended to people who require it for themselves or their children irrespective of the income they earn, the savings they have and to a certain extent the other benefits they receive as well. 

You can apply for Disability Living Allowance if your child has a disability and needs more care than other children of a similar age. 

In the same vein, you can claim the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if you are over 16 years of age and you need monetary support to pay for your care requirements due to an illness or disability. 

The amount you receive will depend only on the nature and extent of your illness/disability and the amount of care you require. It doesn’t depend on whether you are working or not , or your level of savings. 

Of course, the entire gamut of benefits you can receive will be subject to a ‘benefit cap’ and so you must discuss with your local citizen’s council as to which benefits are more crucial for you and which combination will work better. 

Can I claim benefits if I have reached State Pension age but my husband hasn’t and is still working ? 

You can continue to access Universal Credit as a couple until both of you reach State Pension Age. Once you both reach this age, the Universal Credit award will cease. But you can still continue to work as can your husband. 

If you are both of or above State Pension age, and your husband continues to work you can still access benefits available to people over the State Pension age such as Attendance Allowance, if you need care and support due to an illness. You may also be able to claim Pension Credit. 

Other minor benefits may also be provided e.g. Winter Fuel Payment, Bearevement Support Payment etc. To know more , please refer to- Benefits Pensioners Should Receive | Personal Alarms | Lifeline24. Other benefits such as ESA, PIP etc. will be stopped. 

Can I make a claim for Universal Credit individually even if my husband works ? 

You will most likely be asked to make a joint claim for Universal Credit if you are married and part of the same household. 

This applies to all people who are in a  couple. If you are in a couple and reside together as a married couple would, or you share the same household, for all intents and purposes you are considered to be together or in a partnership. 

This holds whether you are married, in a legal civil partnership or even sharing the same residence/living together. In certain cases, you may be permitted to make individual claims. 

But mostly in such an arrangement you will be encouraged to make a joint claim. To understand the requirements in full please refer to – Joint Universal Credit claims for couples (

Am I still eligible for Universal Credit if my husband works but his income is not very low ? 

The Universal Credit benefit is meant for individuals or couples who are employed/self-employed and earn a low income. The standard amount given changes according to age and the different circumstances of your household. 

If your income exceeds a certain limit, due to other forms of income like insurance, other benefits and pensions, then a benefit cap will be placed and your Universal Credit will accordingly be reduced. 

But if you or your husband individually or together earn more than a prescribed limit, then your Universal Credit Benefit will decline simultaneously. For every one pound additional that you earn, your Universal Credit will be reduced by 36 pence. 

For more information on how the award works and the different conditions, you may refer to – Check how much Universal Credit you’ll get – Citizens Advice

Can I claim Carer’s Allowance if my husband works ? 

Yes. If your husband works and you are the primary carer for a child with a disability or illness and you have to invest at least 35 hours a week in their care, then you can claim the Carer’s Allowance.

This benefit is not means-tested which implies that your own, your husbands or your joint household income and savings will not impact the receipt of this benefit. For more information please refer to – Working Families | Carer’s allowance – Working Families

References : 

  1. Department for Work and Pensions. (2016, December 6). New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance. GOV.UK; GOV.UK.
  2. Universal Credit: further information for couples. (n.d.). GOV.UK.
  3. Government Digital Service. (2012, January 19). Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). GOV.UK.
  4. Working Families | Carer’s allowance. (n.d.). Working Families. Retrieved November 2, 2021, from
  5. A survival guide to benefits and living together. (2015, March 20). Advicenow.
  6. Benefits Calculator – entitledto – independent | accurate | reliable | (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2021, from
  7. Universal Credit: further information for couples. (n.d.). GOV.UK.
  8. Reporting a change while you’re on ESA. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2021, from
  9. Government Digital Service. (2012, October 12). Universal Credit. GOV.UK.
  10. Benefits if you’re over State Pension age. (2018, August 30).