Benefits and help with council tax when you separate

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

You might be able to get help with your living costs if you separate from your partner.

It's worth checking what benefits you might be able to get, or whether you can get anything extra on top of what you already claim. 

If you used to be married or in a civil partnership, you should also check if you can get financial support from your ex partner (also known as ‘spousal maintenance’).


If you need to speak with someone about your partner being aggressive

If your partner makes you feel anxious or threatened, you should get help.

If you’re a woman affected by domestic abuse, you can call Refuge or Women's Aid on 0808 2000 247 at any time. 

If you're a man affected by domestic abuse you can call Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 between 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

If you’re unsure about what to do next, talk to an adviser.

Check what benefits you can get

If you're 18 or over, you can use the Turn2us benefits calculator to check which benefits you can get.

The amount you can get will depend on things like how much money you earn, how many hours a week you work and how many children you’ve got.

If you’re already getting benefits

You should still check you are getting all of the benefits you’re entitled to using the benefits calculator on Turn2us (if you're 18 or over). 

If you're getting benefits as a couple, the amount you’re entitled to might change when you separate.

Tell the benefits office if you separate from your partner - because it could affect how much you're paid. If you're no longer entitled to as much since splitting up with your partner, you might be overpaid. You’ll be asked to pay back any overpayments you get.

Check any letters you’ve had about benefits if you’re not sure who to contact. The phone number and contact details will be on the letter. 

Get money off your council tax bill

You can get 25% off your council tax bill if you’re the only adult over 18 living in your home.  This is called 'council tax discount'.

You’ll can apply directly to your local council. If you're not sure how to contact them, you can use the postcode finder on GOV.UK to find out.

You might also be able to get council tax reduction (also called 'council tax support') from your local council - you might be able to pay less council tax or none at all.

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