There are different benefits available for anyone who has recently separated from their partner. Don’t missed out on benefits you may be entitled to because they are there to help you after a divorce. You may be eligible for various benefits but it is important that you know that you should make HM Revenue and Customs aware of your change in circumstances. You may be able to receive tax credits and a reduced amount on your rates or council tax.
When to Report Changes to Your Circumstances to HRMC
If you claim tax credits currently then you must urgently tell HMRC about the changes in your life – eg your divorce or separation with your partner. This is because these changes can have an impact upon your ability to continue to claim these credits or you may be entitled to more than you previously were and should be claiming currently.
When should I tell HR Revenue and Customs:
- If you permanently separate from your partner
- If you have your name changed legally
- If you have your address changed
IMPORTANT: You could be fined up to £300 if you don’t report certain changes within 30 days and up to £3,000 if you give wrong information carelessly or on purpose.
You can find a list of all the reason why you would tell HMRC about changes in your circumstances here: https://www.gov.uk/changes-affect-tax-credits
Reduce my Council Tax
After your separation if you are living alone then you can apply to have 25% off of your council tax bill. Note that if you have a child who is aged 16,17,18 or 19 and is currently in full-time education then they are not counted in council tax bills. Full-time carers are also not included in council tax bills either.
Different rules apply to those living in Northern Ireland. If you have just had a divorce and you now have a lower income as a result then you may be eligible claim ‘rates Housing Benefit’ or ‘Rate Relief’. If you would like to see if you qualify for these benefits then please contact us or call 020 913 7409 for free advice. Understand that these benefits are income dependant as they only apply if you have an income lower than the amount stated.
What happens if I Already claim these benefits and I Have Now Had a Divorce?
If you currently claim these benefits and have had a divorce from your partner then you must alert Land & Property Services to these changes. You have to tell them of your change in circumstance within a calendar month of the divorce. This also applies for any changes which may affect your ability to accept these benefits.
Changes to Working Tax Credit
Working Tax Credit is based off of how many hours you work and how much you earn in those hours. You do not need to be divorced or have children to claim Tax Credit although you may be able to claim more as a result of those circumstances. Working Tax Credit is designed to help those on low incomes. It cannot be claim if you currently receive Universal Credit.
Child Tax Credit
After divorce you may be able to receive Child Tax Credit. The credit depends on the number of children you have, your current income and were anyone has a disability. You may also be eligible for help with your childcare costs. You can claim back a percentage of your childcare costs, to a limit. For this to be allowed you must work 16 hours a week minimum and be able to have child tax credit.
If you are unsure of what Credit you qualify for then please call our divorce helpline 020 913 7409. You can call at any time – Legal Panda are here to help you. If you would like to contact us through email then email firstname.lastname@example.org and leave us a message. We can answer any questions you have regarding divorce and finance.