Civil Partnership?

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    It was bound to happen…….. we made a decision that two ladies are living together as if they were Civil Partners, and as one of them is working, they don’t qualify for any HB/CTB. Now they have appealed our decision saying they are close friends and companions, not partners…

    The ladies are joint tenants, and have been so at several previous properties. They also have a joint bank account, but say that is just for convenience. Our visiting officer called and felt that they are partners,and on the strength of all of that we made our decision.

    Has anyone dealt with a case like this? How best to proceed? Should it be a referral to the Investigations Unit? How does the ‘balance of probability’ work in the face of their flat denial that they are partners?

    All advice much appreciated! 🙄


    I don’t think you can make a decision like this.

    I’m willing to be told I’m wrong but I thought you are only in a civil partnership if you actually go through the ceremony.


    No, they don’t need to go through the ceremony. They can be treated as ‘living together as civil partners’ in the same way that opposite sex couples can be treated as living together.


    No…the living together rules kick in for same-sex and opposite-sex couples in exactly same way.

    My advice would be, make the decision on the available evidence and await the appeal!

    Not sure fraud referral is appropriate unless you feel that some deliberate misrepresentation has occurred. An honest belief, genuinely held by them, about their situation would not normally be treated as fraud….would it?

    Andy Thurman

    As Andy has said, I think the only way forward is to stick with your decision (unless of course you now don’t think it is correct!) and await the appeal – on the brief synopsis given, it looks like an ‘LT’ case to me.

    Please post on how this progresses – will be very interesting to see how this & other cases go.


    I take it a proper LT interview was done ? What did that show?


    From the limited information provided I would stick with the LT decision, the bank account and previous address history indicates they are financially dependant on one another.

    I assuming the account details things such as paying for utility services, that they both have general access, shopping etc. I find these arguments generally persuasive when giving decisions on LT.

    If they were a man and woman would you have reached the same conclusion? If so go to appeal at least you will have guidance on future cases – they are bound to occur.


    As regards the joint bank account, I have been aware of shared / joint tenancies where a joint account was set up for the paying of rent / bills etc.
    Is this account their sole account (in which case LT) or just a “rent and bills payment acct” (in which case maybe not)?? 8)

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