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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Benefits for older people  →  Thread

Current HB reaching pension age

Jac
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Welfare benefits adviser - Melville Housing Association, Midlothian

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Couple both self employed and getting HB. Elder partner reaches pension age. HB has been stopped and couple advised to claim UC. I thought HB should continue with any new income being taken into account. Any help welcome.

HB Anorak
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Benefits consultant/trainer - hbanorak.co.uk, East London

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This is the most controversial feature of the “Rod Stewart Tax” on mixed age couples.  DWP’s view is that HB terminates when the older member of a working age couple reaches SPC age, unless the younger member remains entitled to DWP working age benefits.  The justification for this in legislation is strained, but it is what Councils are expected to do.  See this thread for analysis of the relevant bits of the No 31 Order

Jac
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Welfare benefits adviser - Melville Housing Association, Midlothian

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Thanks for your prompt reply. The HB Circular A3/20219 is not at all clear.

Elliot Kent
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Jac - 25 October 2019 09:49 AM

The HB Circular A3/20219 is not at all clear.

It’s made clearer in circular A9/2019 - see paras 4 and 5.

Timothy Seaside
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Housing services - Arun District Council

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Jumping on this thread…
My clients are a MAC. They look after their granddaughter. They were getting HB and PC (and CTC) in May and it has all continued until a couple of weeks ago when the younger one did some work and the PC ended.
HB has been stopped (because the PC stopped - not because of excess earnings) and they have told the MAC to claim UC.
I thought they could carry on claiming HB, but they wouldn’t be able to make a new claim for HB or PC. They’re not too bothered about the PC as it’s only £6 per week.
Should the HB have stopped?

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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No, the HB claim should be reassessed on income grounds and if they’re still entitled, then they should still be able to claim HB. It’s a continuous award, with a change in circs.

Timothy Seaside
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Housing services - Arun District Council

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That’s what I was thinking, Paul.
I’m going to put in a reconsideration request and advise the client to hold off on UC for now (at least until I’ve had a chance to check if there’s any potential benefit in claiming - although I think it’s unlikely if they’re only losing £6 PC).

Time to go swimming.

Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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If HB does continue then they could also reclaim PC if relevant.

Timothy Seaside
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Housing services - Arun District Council

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Thank you. The HB decision has been overturned and the client is going to call DWP this afternoon to get PC back in place.

One sad factor in this is that the client says she only did the work to help pay for her husband’s hospital visits - which they could have claimed for under the NHS Travel Costs scheme if only they’d known!