Benefits, Children

I share the care of my children with their mother. She is getting universal credit for them can I get it too?

Both parents cannot claim universal credit for the same children even if they share their care. It is usually paid the the parent who has the children staying with them most of the time. If the children stay the same amount of time with both parents, say a week with one parent then a week with the other, the parents can chose who should claim.

If there is more that one child each parent can claim universal credit for different children but this would also affect any help they get towards rent included in their universal credit.

For example:

Joe and Anna are separated. They have 2 children, a boy aged 12 and a girl age 14. Jo has the children one week and Anna the next. Joe pays rent for his 3 bedroom council house and Anna owns her house.

If Joe gets universal credit for both children Anna will not get it and visa versa. If they each get universal credit for one child Joe will only get help with rent to pay for a 2 bed-roomed house so will not get universal credit to help with the all the rent for his 3 bed-roomed council house.

Please contact the Lone Parent Helpline if you need further information on this issue and how it would affect you.

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