What Benefits Am I Entitled To If My Partner Leaves Me?

While there are times when couples are able to claim more in benefits together, there are times when the end of a relationship qualifies you for increased benefits due to a decrease in income. Through this article, we will discuss the benefits that you may be able to claim if your partner leaves you. Additionally, we will also elaborate on the living conditions and housing arrangements at the end of a relationship.

What Benefits Am I Entitled To If My Partner Leaves Me?

If your partner leaves you and it leads to a fall in your income, you can claim the following benefits if you fulfil the eligibility criteria: 

  • If you have sole responsibility for a child under the age of 16 years, you can claim Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit.
  • Depending on your income and savings, you can claim Housing Benefit if you live in rented accommodation.
  • Parents who work equal to or less than 16 hours per week or are unable to work can claim Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance.
  • If you have a health condition or a disability due to which you cannot work, you can claim Employment and Support Allowance
  • You may qualify for income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance. If you receive these benefits for 26 weeks, you can apply for an interest-free loan for basic home expenses.
  • If you are a single parent who is working 16 hours or more per week, you can claim Working Tax Credit.
  • If you are a homeowner claiming Universal Credit, you can apply for Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) to help you with mortgage payments.
  • If you are the sole adult in your household, you can claim a 25 per cent discount on your council tax bills.

In an ideal situation, the relationship breakdown; whether it is the dissolution of a marriage or civil partnership or the end of a live-in partnership, matters remain cordial enough between both parties to arrive at a mutual agreement with regards to practical matters, including matters of their tenancy, joint ownership of a house, joint assets, child care and any other expenses that were undertaken together.

In the other case, if you were married or in a civil partnership, not only can your ex-partner be removed from the tenancy agreement upon dissolution of your relationship, you may be able to seek financial support from them as well. Your local Citizen’s Action Centre may help you with arranging financial support after you separate. In case of a divorce, tenancy transfer can be added in the divorce proceedings.

Can I Claim Universal Credit If My Partner Leaves Me?

Yes, you can claim or continue with your Universal Credit claim if your partner leaves you. You will also continue receiving your future payments as per the previous schedule; however, the amount of your claim will decrease due to a change in your relationship status.

Below are details of how Universal Credit amounts are classified depending on relationship status:

Your circumstancesStandard amount of UC claim
Single and under 25 £257.33 a month
Single and 25 or older£324.84 a month
Living with a partner. Both partners are below 25£403.93 a month
Living with a partner. One or both partners are 25 or older£509.91 a month

These are standard amounts. Depending on your circumstances you may be able to claim additional benefits for the following:

  • Housing
  • Children
  • Childcare

If children continue living with both partners at different times or both partners are unable to reach a decision on this matter by themselves, the DWP will decide on their own as to which partner is primarily responsible for the children and making decisions on their behalf. It is then that they will be able to claim additional elements to their Universal Credit claim.

Can I Claim Single Person Discount If My Partner Leaves Me?

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 so that your bills may be adjusted appropriately. To apply for a council tax benefit, contact your local council office.

A full council tax becomes applicable when there are at least two adults sharing premises. In case they are spouses or partners, they may share the bill. 

Meanwhile, if all the residents of a household do not count as adults, they are eligible for a 50 per cent reduction on their council tax bill. To avail of a 100 per cent discount, all the residents of a household must be full-time students. 

Can I Remove Ex-Partner From Council Tenancy Agreement?

Yes, you can remove your ex-partner from your council tenancy agreement; however, the way that you may need to go about depends on your circumstances and relationship status.

Firstly, if you are both listed as joint tenants, you will need an agreement from your ex-partner and landlord for removal from the tenancy agreement. In this case, if your ex-partner fails to comply, they must be informed that being listed as joint tenant keeps them responsible for a contribution towards the council house rent. If your landlord or ex-partner do not agree to a tenancy transfer or your tenancy agreement prohibits it, you can file an application in court.

However, if you are listed as the tenant and they are listed as an occupant, you can simply inform your council office or housing association of the change and ask them to draw up a fresh tenancy agreement.

If your partner is listed as the tenant and you as the occupant and is the one to move out of council premises, you can request your council authorities to change the name on the tenancy agreement. If your ex-partner is not willing to assign the tenancy to you or your landlord fails to support your claim, you can file an appeal in court.

What Are My Rights In Joint Tenancy If My Partner Leaves Me?

What happens to a joint tenancy agreement of a council housing in the case of a relationship breakdown depends upon two factors primarily; one being the nature of the relationship and the other being the nature of the tenancy.

As a joint tenant both of you have the following rights:

  • Your right to stay in the property remains intact even at the end of a relationship; unless there is a court order demanding you to leave on reasonable grounds.
  • Both occupants continue to remain responsible for timely payments of rent as well as protection of council property. 
  • If one of the partners leaves the property, the remaining partner becomes responsible for rental payments.
  • If both partners decide to vacate the premises, they will be required to pay the rent amounting to the end of the contract.

If one of the partners leaves the council premises and informs the social housing landlord or council office by serving a legal notice, the other partner will also have to leave the property.

If you are being asked to vacate the council house at the end of a relationship, you can seek an occupation order through the court that permits you to continue living under the premises especially if you are at risk of homelessness. 

What Changes Need To Be Reported For Benefits Claim?

Claimants need to inform the local council authorities in case of any of the below listed circumstantial changes to their conditions as they will bear direct impact on their benefits claim:

  • one’s name or gender
  • finding a new job or ending a previous one
  • different working hours
  • increase or decrease in income
  • an increase or decrease in pension, savings, investments or property
  • salary arrears (this applies to you and your partner)
  • beginning or ending an educational degree, training or apprenticeship
  • home address
  • extended stay out of the UK
  • number of people in the household 
  • marital status
  • physical and mental health conditions
  • extended hospital stay or moving into a care home
  • starting or stopping caring for someone
  • change of medical adviser 
  • increase or decrease in benefits you or anyone else in your household receives
  • your immigration status (in case you are not a British citizen)


From this detailed discussion it is clear that in case your partner leaves you, there is a range of benefits that can provide financial support due to a sudden fall in your income. You can seek advice from your local council office or the citizen’s advice bureau, who can advise you on how to apply for the benefits that are applicable as per your individual circumstances.

FAQs: What Benefits Am I Entitled To If My Partner Leaves Me?

Can you claim benefits if you are separated?

Yes, if you have permanently separated from your partner, you can start claiming benefits as a single person on an immediate basis by informing the DWP. You may need to provide proof of the end of your relationship to support your claim. However, in case of a temporary separation, you will not be able to claim benefits intended for a single person.

Do I have any rights to my partner’s house?

If you were in a marriage or civil partnership, both of you will have ownership rights of the house that you were living in. This will not be affected by whether or not you were contributing towards mortgage payments. Until there is a divorce settlement, both of you can continue living in the matrimonial home.

What benefits can you claim as a single person?

Depending on your circumstances and eligibility for benefits, as a single person, you may be able to claim Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related, Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Universal Credit.

What happens if I move in with my partner?

If you move in with your partner, the ownership of assets between the two of you remains individual; however, your income and savings will be considered as joint for benefits claim. Additionally, if you and your partner were living alone, both of you will lose your council tax discount for single occupancy.

How much does a single man get on Universal Credit?

If you are a single man under the age of 25 years, you can claim £257.33 on Universal Credit. If you are single and above the age of 25 years, you can claim £324.84.


Check if a change affects your Universal Credit – Citizens Advice

Universal Credit: further information for couples – GOV.UK

Joint Universal Credit claims for couples

Separated But Living Together | Divorce-Online

Joint tenancies and relationship breakdowns – Buckles Law