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Mixed households

Benefit eligibility rules can be particularly complex when family members in the same household have different nationalities or types of immigration status. For example, when a British citizen has a partner who has leave to remain that is subject to the 'No Recourse to Public Funds' condition (leave to remain with NRPF).

When a person has access to public funds, they will be able to claim any benefits that they would normally be entitled to. However, when they are claiming a benefit that is classed as a public fund, they will not usually be able to claim additional amounts for a partner or other members of the household who have no recourse to public funds. 

Exceptions to this rule are summarised in this section and are set out in the Home Office guidance on public funds

Tax credits

A couple who are applying for Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit will be required to make a joint claim. A person who has leave to remain with NRPF can be included in a joint claim for Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit, without this affecting their immigration position.

When a couple are only entitled to Working Tax Credit (and not Child Tax Credit) and one partner has leave to remain with NRPF, they would not be able to receive the second adult element of Working Tax credit unless they are a national of Turkey or Croatia. For more information, see the HMRC Tax Credits Technical Manual

Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are only available to new claimants in limited circumstances. Most people will need to apply for Universal Credit instead.

Council Tax Support/Reduction, Housing Benefit, and Universal Credit

When a person who can access public funds is living with a partner who has leave to remain with NRPF, and wants to claim Council Tax Support/Reduction, Housing Benefit, or Universal Credit, they would need to find out from a benefits adviser:

  • If they have to include their partner's details in their benefit claim
  • Whether they will get an extra amount of benefit because of their partner's presence in the household, if the partner's details need to be included

If the person who is claiming the benefit gets an extra amount because of their partner's presence, then the partner who has leave to remain with NRPF would need to seek legal advice from an immigration adviser to find out whether receiving the additional amount may affect their current or future immigration position.