Can You Claim Tax Credits If You Are Separated But Living Together?

If you are thinking about whether or not you can claim Tax Credits when you are separated but still living together with your former partner, you will find the answer to your questions as you read along the following blog post.

Can You Claim Tax Credits If You Are Separated But Living Together?

Whether or not you can claim Tax Credits if you are separated but living together depends on your circumstances. However, the rule is that a couple can no longer continue receiving Tax Credits payments under a joint claim once they separate and should file for individual claims for Working Tax Credit while the parent with the primary responsibility of the children will be able to claim Child Tax Credit.

This means that you cannot continue with your previous joint claim for Tax Credits as a couple once you separate. Since your collective income cannot be considered as a joint household income anymore, you should apply for individual claims for Tax Credits; based on your separate incomes.

The key factor to consider is the “living together rule.” This rule applies to couples who live together and are considered to be in a relationship, whether or not they are married. If you and your ex-partner are still living together, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) may consider you to be in a relationship for the purposes of Tax Credits.

It’s important to note that if you are claiming Tax Credits as a single person but are still living with your ex-partner, HMRC may investigate your claim to ensure that you are not still in a relationship. If HMRC determines that you are still in a relationship, you may be asked to repay any Tax Credits you have received.

Can You Claim Any Other Benefits If You Are Separated?

Yes, you can claim some other benefits if you are separated and on a low income. However, you would need to meet the eligibility criteria for each benefit individually and apply for each benefit separately. 

For instance,

  • If you are looking for work, have made the required amount of National Insurance contributions and have worked for two tax years, you can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • If you are a parent who is working equal to or less than 16 hours per week, you can apply for Income Support.
  • If you have a health condition or a disability that affects your ability to work, you can apply for Employment and Support Allowance.
  • If you are on a low income and need support to meet the cost of living, you can apply for Universal Credit.

You can also visit the Government’s website to check the benefits and financial support that you can claim when you are separated.

How Can You Prove You Are Not Living Together To Claim Benefits?

There are certain situations under which one may need to prove that they are not living with their former partner after a separation to claim benefits. Below is a list of suggestions that can help build evidence in your favour:

  • You can provide evidence that you and your ex-partner have separate finances, such as bank statements or utility bills in separate names. This can show that you are not financially supporting each other as a couple.
  • You can provide evidence of separate living arrangements, such as separate bedrooms, living areas, and household bills. This can demonstrate that you are living as separate individuals, rather than as a couple.
  • You can ask friends or family members to provide witness statements to confirm that you are living separately. They can confirm that you have separate living arrangements, finances, and social lives.
  • If you are legally separated or have filed for divorce, you can provide legal documents as evidence of your separation.


The above discussion helps to conclude that you may not be able to claim Tax Credits under a joint claim once you separate from your partner, you can still apply for a single-person claim.


TCTM09320 – Decision Making, Joint or Single claims: Definition of a couple – HMRC internal manual – GOV.UK

TCTM09350 – Decision Making, Joint or Single claims: Former partners living at the same address – HMRC internal manual – GOV.UK