I've not been on this website for several years but I have a relative who is making herself sick with worry over tax credit and income support payments. She is 29 and has two children, 4 and 6. She already receives a carer's allowance for the disabled 6 year old. Her husband has moved out of the rented family home and is renting a room in a shared house. They have not started divorce proceedings as they are attending Relate to see if there is any way the marriage can be salvaged. He is making random payments to her as and when he can afford it (self-employed).
She is receiving tax credit and income support as well as housing benefit but is concerned that she'll get a hefty fine or have to pay back the money if they do manage to reconcile. This morning she read this somewhere online:
Two people who are married or civil partners will always be classed as a couple for tax credits purposes unless:
a) they are separated under a court order; or
b) they are separated in circumstances in which the separation is likely to be permanent.
My common sense view is that there is no way that she can actually know if the separation is likely to be permanent and in the 'here and now' as long as she has provided all the information honestly then she shouldn't have anything to worry about.
She is so frightened and anxious that at one point recently she thought she needed to get a divorce just to be eligible for the benefits or have some sort of 'legal separation' document.
I hope someone can help as I really do fear for her well-being with all the anxiety this is creating.