Can I claim any benefits if my husband works but I don't?

Question

I have been unemployed for 12 months and do not receive any money due to my partner being in full-time work. I am 61 and unable to find work at present but can't retire until September 2015. I stopped receiving benefit in August 2014 and am finding life really difficult financially. Am I entitled to any funds?

From:
JM/Dunstable

Answer

There is a range of different types of benefits and tax credits you could be entitled to but whether you can claim any of these will depend on your circumstances.

Some benefits are based on the National Insurance contributions you have paid. These include contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance, while other benefits and the new Universal Credit are means-tested.

From what you have said, it sounds as if there may be a range of benefits you might be entitled to as a family unit. For example, you may be entitled to Working Tax Credit if your partner is on a low income and working more than 30 hours per week. You may also be entitled to claim Council Tax Support from your local authority or even Housing Benefit if you are in rented accommodation.

Go to gov.uk/browse/benefits for further information.

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Published: 28 April 2014
Last updated: 12 January 2015