Benefits and help with rates bills when you separate - Citizens Advice Northern Ireland
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Benefits and help with rates bills when you separate

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

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

It's work 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’).

You can get help if your partner is often angry or criticises you, if they control what you do or which friends you see, or if they hit you.

You can contact the Domestic and Sexual Abuse helpline 24 hours a day on 0808 802 1414 for advice, practical and emotional support and information about where else to get help.]

Don’t try to sort out your separation on your own. If you’re unsure about what to do next, you can

contact your nearest Citizens Advice.

Check what benefits you can get

Use the benefits calculator on Turn2us to find out what you’re entitled to.

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 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 rates bill

If you’re having trouble paying your rates bill,  you might be able to get Rates Housing Benefit and Rates Relief.

If you already get Rates Housing Benefit or Rates Relief, you’ll be able to get more if you’re the only adult in your home.

Find out more information on Rates Housing Benefit and Rates Relief on or ask your nearest Citizens Advice for help.

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