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Couples and out-of-work benefits

Claiming Out-Of-Work Benefits as a Couple

Only one out-of work benefit can be claimed per couple. The calculator assumes that the first person, referred to as “you” or “client”, claims the out-of work benefit.

If you are both eligible to claim an out-of work benefit you should consider carefully which one of you should make the claim. For instance, if one person is eligible for Income Support and the other is eligible for Employment and Support Allowance (income-related) then you can claim one of these benefits as a couple. For an estimate based on Income Support the individual who qualifies for that benefit should be the first person (“you” or “client”) in the calculator. For a calculation based on Employment and Support Allowance (income-related) the other member of the couple should be the first person (“you” or “client”) in the calculator.

To claim Income Support only the first person (“you” or “client”) needs to be eligible. However, in some claims for income-based Jobseeker's Allowance both you and your partner must satisfy the eligibility rules and make a joint claim (in which case both you and your partner are expected to satisfy the eligibility rules for seeking work). For more information see joint claims for income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.

If you and/or your partner meet the eligibility conditions for Income Support and income-related Employment and Support Allowance you should consider carefully which benefit you would be better off claiming. For more information see which means tested benefit would you be better-off claiming?

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