Once you have separated, your financial situation might change and this will make work and benefits even more important to sort out. Find out how your new situation affects your work and benefits, make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to and explore ways to get or stay in work now that you have separated.

Separation brings with it a number of challenges, one of the most prominent being financial worries. When you are looking for any help with finances, you may often ask the question “what benefits can I claim?”.

Living apart from your partner may mean you have less money to live on and you will have to manage your finances differently. You may be entitled to certain benefits or tax credits if you:

  • are unemployed
  • have low earnings or work limited hours
  • are bringing up children
  • are ill or have a disability
  • have children with special needs
  • are a lone parent
  • are expecting a baby

If you have separated or divorced, you may be entitled to claim new benefits or receive higher amounts of the benefits you already receive.

For tax and benefits purposes, you are classed as separated if you and your ex-partner are no longer living together. For you to claim the relevant benefits, the separation has to be permanent. If your separation is only temporary (for example, if you’re trialing a separation or think you might get back together) you may not be able to make a claim for new or increased benefits.

If you already claim some benefits you should report any changes to your cirumstances to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) immediately. By keeping the HMRC up to date with your situation, they can inform you of any potential changes to your benefits, be it an increase or reduction in certain payments.

However, if you do not keep the HMRC up to date with your changes, you may miss out on benefits you are entitled to or be claiming more than you should, which could lead to some costly fines.

Follow the links below to see what benefits you may be entitled to.

Where can I go next?

  • Black and White image of the crown
    Gov.UK - Benefits

    Information from Gov.UK on a wide range of benefits including tax credits and eligibility.

  • Gingerbread - Benefits factsheet

    A factsheet explaining the financial support you could get as a lone parent from Gingerbread. You can also find links to other information you may find helpful.

  • Citizens Advice Bureau - Benefits

    The Citizens Advice Bureau gives information about benefits and tax credits whatever your situation.