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In-work benefits for single father

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I'm just looking for a bit of guidance and highlight to possible pittfalls please


My situation is that my partner (the mother of our kids but not married) and I have seperated and I will be moving out of the family home in due course. For practical reasons, the children (10 and 12) will also be living with me. I have legal parental responsibility for both and have always been the main carer and had the child benefit paid to me.


My ex will not be making any claim for benefits and will remain in the mortgaged family home which she is the sole owner of and solely named on the mortgage. I have no legal right nor liability in relation to this property nor do I wish to contest this. I have never claimed benefits, other than child benefit in the past.


I am working but have checked the turn2us benefit calculator and it appears that I am entitled to some financial assistance in the form of Universal Credit. it looks like it's a bit of a "chicken and egg" situation though as i will have to move out with the children before making this claim, but I think I can just about manage the up-front expenses. I would be pretty snookered though if my benefit application was rejeceted after I had signed a tenancy agreement.


My question is what should I expect in trems of attitude toward this unuasual situation when making such a cliam, that is a father leaving with the children rather than the mother? Also will it make any difference that my ex partner is financially indpendent in terms of still being able to afford to stay in the family home and cover the bills? The issue of child maintenance is not in dispute between us.


Thanks for any advice



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Your circumstances are similar to many other people around the UK and benefit services will therefore come across this every week.


If you move out into a rented property on your own, you will only receive a 1 bedroom entitlement if 35 years old or over. Under 35 years of age, it would be a shared accommodation rate. But with Universal Credit they calculate the benefit entitlement on the last day of the monthly assessment period. So if the Children moved in before the last day of the assessment period, you will also receive Housing entitlement for them, as well as the Children element.  If the 2 children are of the same sex, you will only receive a 2 bedroom Housing entitlement, as they are expected to share.


The Turn2us benefit calculator should be correct if you entered correct information, but remember those details have to apply on the claim on the last day of the assessment period for the calculated amount to be correct. And you have to report on your claim a change of circumstances when the Children move in with you, with the additional amount being paid when information verified.


Universal Credit is benefit paid in arrears, so you don't receive a first payment until 5 weeks after your claim is started. You can apply for an advance payment, but this is repaid via a deduction from future months UC payments.


And be careful in regard to when you start your UC claim, as if you received too many wage slip payments within the UC monthly assessment period, this will affect how much UC you received.  Look at when you are due to be paid wages into your Bank. Avoid situations where due to earlier payment due to weekends or Bank Holidays payment dates are affected, therefore more wages are counted within the UC assessment period.

We could do with some help from you.



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