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Changes to Pension Credit for Mixed Age Couples

  • 23/01/2019

This article is over a year old

Some couples could lose £7,320 a year

Pensioner counting pennies

From 15 May 2019, pensioners will no longer be able to apply for Pension Credit if their partner is of working age. They will need to apply for and claim Universal Credit instead until their partner reaches State Pension age.

Currently a couple can choose to move from working age benefits to Pension Credit as soon as the older partner is State Pension age. A couple can usually receive £255.25 a week on Pension Credit.

In comparison, this will only be £114.81 a week on Universal Credit. Over a year, this amounts to a potential loss of £7,320.

This could have a massive impact on low-income couples.

There’s a temporary exception to this rule. Because Pension Credit can be backdated, if the older partner had already reached Pension Age on 14/05/19  you’ve got until 13/08/19 to get your backdated claim for Pension Credit in. You can check what date you and your partner will reach pension age on the website. If you’re not already getting Housing Benefit, you can make a new claim once you are getting Pension Credit. If you are already getting Housing Benefit you should tell the Council you have started claiming Pension Credit.

Who will be affected?

Any couples where the oldest partner reaches State Pension age who have an income below £248.80 a week will be affected.

Mixed age couples with a partner under State Pension age already getting Pension Credit or pension-age Housing Benefit won’t be affected while they remain entitled to either benefit.

It is strongly advisable that any couples eligible for Pension Credit where only one partner has reached State Pension age should apply for the benefit now before the new rules come into force on 15 May 2019. They will be able to remain on Pension Credit unless they have a change in circumstances affecting their claim.

Find out how to claim Pension Credit.

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