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Income support question


AnnaDB
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Hi,

I have been sharing a house with a friend for nine years, and we have decided to have a child together.

We currently receive income support separately, we are not a couple, but would we be required to claim as a couple if we have a baby?

 

Also what are the criteria by which Income Support decide if someone count as a couple?

Thankyou,

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If your friend is going to be named on the birth certificate as the father then I think you will be under scrutiny from the benefits agency, they will look at you as being a couple. You would have to prove to them that you are not and that you decided to have a baby. My advice is to be honest with the benefits agency and have a chat with them about it and see where you stand. Your friend would in no doubt be required to pay child support and this will come out of his benefits but you will not see a penny of it so he will be worse off.

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Social Security Administration Act 1992 Section 111A

The majority of cases are based on not reporting a change of circumstances to the DWP.

R v Tilley, Times 5 August 2009 (CA Crim)

The court considered the meaning of “allows” in s 111A (1B) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and held that it required a positive act on the part of the defendant for the offence to be committed. Accordingly if a third party knew of a change that affected the benefit of a person claiming income support, he would be guilty of an offence only if he dishonestly allowed the beneficiary to fail to report the change and provided that he had been active in some way in the failure. A transcript is available on the Bailii website at Tilley, R. v [2009] EWCA Crim 1426 (20 July 2009)

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The criteria used are basically "common sense". If you seem like a couple, you quite possibly are one. "Living together as husband and wife" is not specifically defined in the law.

 

If you and your partner have a child together, you will have a difficult time maintaining that you are not a couple, since to some extent that will involve you sharing financial responsibilities.

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Hi, thankyou for your replies, we did have a visit from Income support to assess if they considered us a couple and they decided based on various things that we are not - mainly because I am gay.

I guess we will have to talk to the benefits agency directly, hopefully they are sensible enough to realise that although we would both be looking after the child if we have one, that does not mean that we share anything more than friendship with eachother - we don't even eat together, we just happen to be in the same house instead of separate flats.

Thanks,

Anna

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