Since some benefits are based on the joint incomes and savings of a couple, they tend to get affected by one’s living conditions. Through this blog post, we will explore which benefits get affected if your partner moves in with you. We will also discuss the different living conditions of partners and ex-partners and how a change in their living arrangement impacts the benefits that they claim individually and collectively.

If My Partner Moves In With Me What Benefits Will I Lose?

If your partner moves in with you you might lose or face a reduction of some of your means-tested benefits. These include the following:

  • Council Tax Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Tax Credits (Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit

However, it will depend on your individual and collective situations, the benefits you claim, your age and living conditions. For instance, if you are of pension age and your partner is below pension age, you may lose on Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. Meanwhile, both of you can continue claiming your Personal Independence Payments (PIP). If you are claiming Universal Credit, both of you will have to give up your individual claims and file for a joint claim. 

If your partner moves in with you and it leads to an increase in your household income, you may face a reduction of your Tax Credits. The same applies in the case of Jobseekers Allowance and Employment Support Allowance.

If you were living alone before your partner moved in you would also be availing Single Occupancy Discount on your Council Tax. You will lose this benefit when there is an addition of another adult to your household.

How Long Can Someone Stay Without Affecting Benefits?

Whether it is a partner, friend or family member; anyone can stay at your house without affecting benefits as long as your place of residence is not their main residence. This means that they may choose to stay with you for a few days or sleepover in the night or stay over if they are taking care of you for any reason; however, they must have evidence to prove that they have a permanent residence of their own where they are responsible for paying rent, council tax and monthly utility bills.

There has been a general assumption that someone staying over at your place for two to three nights per week will not affect your benefits or in the case of a relationship, you will not be considered as a partner. The error with this assumption is that it is not the number of days (or nights) that count towards classifying two people as living together and consequently affecting their benefits, it is the evidential proof of whether someone is considering your home as their own when they stay in your house. 

If someone regularly stays at your place for a few nights each week, doesn’t have a permanent residence of their own or their bills are addressed to your home, they will be considered as living with you and due to this change in your circumstances, your benefits will be affected.

If your former partner continues living with you despite separation, you may have to sacrifice certain benefits that you were claiming together as a couple.

How Much Is A Non-Dependant Deduction From Housing Benefit

Depending on the gross income (this is the sum of their incomes from varied sources before any deductions or tax payments) of the non-dependent adult who is living with you, there will be a reduction in the amount of Housing Benefit that you are currently receiving. The reason for this is that your cohabitant is expected to contribute to your household expenses through their income and savings.

A detailed breakdown of cohabitants’ income bracket and their impact on your Housing Benefit is given below:

Weekly Deduction: Housing BenefitGross Income of Cohabitant
£15.95Less than £149
£36.65Between £149 and £216.99
£50.30Between £217 and £282.99
£82.30Between £283 and £376.99
£93.70Between £377 and £468.99
£102.85£469 or more

Are There Any Exceptions To Non-Dependent Deductions From Benefits?

Yes, there are certain situations under which despite having a non-dependent adult living with you for an indefinite period of time, no deductions will be made from the benefits you currently claim. These are classified below on the basis of different situations:

In the case of a partnership:

  • either of the partners (or both) is (are) registered as blind
  • either or both of them are getting Attendance Allowance, the care component of Disability Living Allowance, the standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment, or the Armed Forces Independence Payment

In case of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support:

There will be no deduction from either of the state benefits if the non-dependant person living with you is:

  • below the age of 18 years
  • below the age of 25 years and on Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment Support Allowance
  • currently on a work-based training for young people and receiving a training allowance
  • a full-time student or student nurse;
  • recently released from hospital after a period of more than 52 weeks;
  • in legal custody, 
  • a homeowner or renter of a property 
  • currently on Pension Credit 
  • a student working during the summer
  • mentally disabled

Can My Partner Stay At My Home Without Paying Council Tax?

Whether or not your partner/girlfriend/boyfriend/friend(s) need to pay council tax while staying over at your place depends on the duration and nature of their stay. If they have their own place and a council tax bill to their name, they may stay over weekends or even a few weeks at your place without affecting your council tax bill or any discounts that you are eligible for such as council tax reduction due to single occupancy. 

However, should their stay be extended enough or frequent enough that your home becomes their main residence, you may lose your single-occupant discount if you were previously eligible for it. If they don’t have another property to declare as their main residence or they don’t have a council tax bill to their name, you might lose your council tax discount due to their extended stay. 

If your partner spends more than 6 months in a year at your place, they may consider adding your home as their main residence and applying for a second home discount on their own premises. For this, you may require to consult your respective local council offices to learn about each council’s taxation and discount schemes in this regard. 

What Is Classed As Living Together For Benefits?

According to the Department for Work and Pension (DWP), if two people are living under the following conditions, they will be considered as living together:

  • One of them is the registered owner or registered tenant of the house while the other one continues sharing the premises with them as their main residence without having a postal address of their own
  • The unregistered occupant is using your home address for to be registered to vote, receive their mail, benefits claim and tax payments
  • Both occupants share a joint account

If the above conditions apply to a couple and they choose to live together only to claim more benefits, they may be held guilty of benefits fraud.

Can I Claim Benefits When Separated But Living Together?

Yes, you can claim benefits if you and your partner choose to separate as a couple but continue living together. However, if you were claiming benefits as a couple, they may be reduced to single person claims. On the other hand, being separated may make you and your partner eligible for certain other benefits that you were unable to claim before.

If you and your partner were jointly claiming benefits as a couple, it is advisable for you to inform Job Centre and HMRC of the change in your relationship status as you may no longer qualify for the same amount. Alternatively, you may now be able to claim certain other state benefits due to your single status.

If there are children involved, the parent with the main care responsibility of the children will be eligible for a Working Tax Credit if they work 16 hours a week.

What Is A Single Person Discount?

If you live alone or are the only adult in the household, you are eligible for a 25 per cent discount on your council tax bills (irrespective of your income or savings). This is a single person discount on council tax. To avail of this discount, you must inform your local council office of your circumstances and apply for council tax reduction so that your bills may be adjusted appropriately.

If your former partner continues sharing premises with your despite the end of your relationship, you may be eligible for a full council tax. However, if only one of your continues living on the premises, you may be able to claim a single person discount on your council tax and reduce your expenses. 

Conclusion:

While it is true that you will lose on some means-tested benefits if your partner moves in with you; you might also get an addition to the household income and support through their company. Similarly, there may be times when couples separate but choose to continue living together either due to financial constraints or due to shared children. In such cases, they will lose on joint benefits claims and will be required to file for single person benefits. In either situation, it is best to keep the DWP updated about the changes to your household and collective income.

FAQs: If My Partner Moves In With Me What Benefits Will I Lose?

Does living with a partner affect Universal Credit?

Yes, living with a partner affects Universal Credit as your joint incomes and savings are taken into account to calculate your benefits claim and the amount to be paid to you by the DWP.

How many nights can my partner stay over without affecting my benefits?

There has been a general assumption that someone staying over at your place for two to three nights per week will not affect your benefits but it is not true. What matters is the evidential proof of whether someone is considering your home as their own when they stay in your house that can affect your benefits.

What does the DWP class as living together?

According to the DWP, if two people are living under the following conditions, they will be considered as living together when one of them is the registered owner or registered tenant of the house while the other one continues sharing the premises with them as their main residence without having a postal address of their own

What happens if I move in with my partner?

If you move in with your partner, both of you may experience a reduction in your means-tested benefits. These include:

  • Council Tax Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Tax Credits (Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit

Can someone stay with me if I claim housing benefit?

Yes, someone can live with you if you claim housing benefits. However, if you share your house with an adult, their income will count towards your means test and your housing benefit claim may reduce.

References:

If-my-partner-moves-in-with-me-will-i-lose-all-my-benefits

Moving in with a new partner – Gingerbread

Separated But Living Together | Divorce-Online

Report benefits change

Benefits and help with council tax when you separate – Citizens Advice

Sorting-out-benefits-after-separation

When do the DWP or HMRC treat a couple as living together for benefit?

Housing benefit deductions when living with non-dependants – Shelter England

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.