Mixed-age couples and legacy benefits and pensioner premium
Where we have a mixed-age couple (MAC) claiming a legacy benefit as well as housing benefit, it appears that there is different treatment of the MAC when the older person reaches state pension age (SPA) depending on which member of the couple is claiming the legacy benefit.
If the older partner is claiming the legacy benefit, then that claim stops when they reach SPA as does the HB claim and they’re directed to claim UC instead.
If however, the younger partner is claiming the legacy benefit, both claims can continue in payment and it looks to ne as if the appropriate pensioner premium should also start to be paid to them with the legacy benefit.
Obviously, it’s not possible to swap claimants for legacy benefit claims anymore, except where an SDP is in payment with that legacy benefit, in which case I think it would be wise for MAC’s to look to swap claimants if it is the older person currently claiming the legacy benefit.
Does that make sense to other people? I would welcome any thoughts you might have.
Yes, I agree with this. The HB Circular here, in the first two examples in the Annex, says this too.
Thanks Charles, the HB Circular is what prompted me to think about this and I suppose my question is more about whether there is any obvious lawful impediment to enabling a MAC where the older partner is claiming the legacy benefit with an SDP from swapping claims with the younger partner (provided of course the younger partner can also establish entitlement to the SDP with the relevant legacy benefit)?
We know that ~60% of MAC’s have someone claiming a disability benefit and it’s certanly not uncommon to come across MAC’s where both partners are claiming PIP for example - in that sort of case, can the older partner simply relinquish their ESA claim for example, and the younger partner then make a new claim for ESA for them both?
I’m thinking ahead to if/when the SDP gateway isn’t there anymore - IFS figures suggest that ~12% of MAC’s have a 10 year plus age gap so for some people, if this swapping of claimants can happen, it could be very beneficial if it is possible.
This is a good point, and I can’t see why it wouldn’t work.
I don’t think there is even a necessity to check that the younger partner can establish entitlement to SDP, because a claim for legacy benefits can be made if either of a couple were entitled to SDP in the last month. See here.
I’d just watch out for the small number of cases where they are not a couple for UC purposes, or where (in normal circumstances) one of the couple would be required to make a claim for UC as a single person. In these cases, the younger member of the couple could not claim legacy benefits, as they have not been entitled to SDP.
Thanks again Charles, I’d not thought of the aspect that younger partner wouldn’t necessarily need to be entitled to SDP, so that’s helpful.
I have a mixed aged couple - elder person attained pension age on the 6th July and was the lead claimant for Income Support which included SDP. Both getting PIP daily living; He was claiming Carer’s Allowance for looking after his wife - hence only one SDP. Received notificaiton that IS was ending and directed to claim UC - IS said that this was a computer generated letter and that IS claim will be managed clerically. IS then reinstated payment after challenging them, but they have now sent a further letter saying not entitled and that payments have ceased.
relevant regulations can be found in Art 8(1) & 2(a)(i) WRA 2012 Commencement Order No 31; also DMG from paragraph 18 onwards, in case anyone is experiencing similar difficulties: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/804784/m-07-19.pdf
this question is more for 14th august onwards
sorry to jump on this as well (didnt want to start a new post when its about the same issue)
i understand about the youngest being the main claimant however my issue is more with the elder being the main claimant.
my understanding is that if the mixed age couple have an SDP with the legacy benefits and the eldest is the main claimant then the benefit will be dealt with clerically and continued to be paid
is this still the case if the eldest has applied for and will receive their SRP??
would it be for better words a legacy benefit top up (similar to the younger main claimant with a PP) or would they make the claim for PC due to the SDP?
examples im reading dont seem to suggest that the eldest who is the main claimant is receiving the SRP - it could just be it is implied or i could be reading too much into this and complicating a matter already complicated enough
im hoping this makes some sense[ Edited: 13 Aug 2019 at 01:17 pm by VRW ]
They will stay on legacy benefits - example 3 is the Annex of this HB guidance shows that they stay on legacy with the older person the claimant - the example doesn’t mention SRP but I can only assume it just gets taken into account as income as you suggest
If you claim State Pension, then its taken fully into account as income, so for many people, this will probably take them off a means-tested benefit and associated passporting.
If you don’t claim State Pension but you have an entitlement, then it’s taken into account as notional income, as with personal and occupational pensions.
It’s properly savage.
If you don’t claim State Pension but you have an entitlement, then it’s taken into account as notional income, as with personal and occupational pensions..
In a very different way though. SRP is notional income at the real rate while other pensions are notional income using GAD tables and 15 year Gilt rates.