Can mixed aged couples claim Pension Credit & Housing Benefit?
Pension Credit in the UK changed on 15th May 2019. Since then, mixed-aged couples have not been able to make a claim for Pension Credit and must claim Universal Credit instead. However, this change won’t impact those couples who have both reached state pension age.
A couple is considered mixed-age when one of the two has reached state pension age but their partner hasn’t.
You can find out more information on Universal Credit by visiting Rights4Seniors.
What is Pension Credit?
Pension Credit is a top-up benefit for both single people and couples and ensures a minimum amount of money to live on each week.
It is estimated that one-third of older people don't claim Pension Credit they are entitled to. The basic rates for Pension Credit are more generous than Universal Credit and people claiming Universal Credit can be subject to conditions such as looking for work or attending training courses.
You can find out more information on Pension Credit by visiting Rights4Seniors.
Will these changes impact existing Pension Credit claims?
No. If you and your partner are currently claiming Pension Credit or pension-age Housing Benefit then you will be unaffected by these changes. Even if you are part of a mixed-aged couple claiming Pension Credit you still won't be impacted as these changes only apply to new claims to Pension Credit from 15th May, 2019.
How will these changes affect couples under State Pension age?
When one member of a couple reaches State Pension Age but the other hasn’t yet, the couple can make a claim for Universal Credit. They cannot claim Pension Credit or Housing Benefit as they could have previously.
Any couple claiming Housing Benefit who will be affected by the changes to Pension Credit will be contacted one month before they reach State Pension Age to inform them that they will have to make a new application for Universal Credit. If the application is made within the timeframe stated in their letter, the couple will be entitled to a two-week run on of Housing Benefit.
Where can you get help with these changes?
If you are worried about these changes or want to check your eligibility for Pension Credit or Universal Credit then you can contact the Welfare Changes Helpline on 0808 802 0020 or find one of our members in your area by visiting the Advice NI website.