Mixed couple moving onto Pension Credit or not?
I have a mixed-age couple, one reaching SRP/Pension Credit age on 15 December, and the other won’t reach Pension Age for 10 years.
They currently have a joint claim for ESA/HB, with the older member as the main claimant. Looking at everything, it looks like because of this, they will have to claim UC rather than Pension Credit or remain on ESA when he reaches PC age, as trying to change the main claimant would trigger migration to UC, and he is no longer eligible for ESA as he is no longer working age.
There is no SDP payable so no gateway issues with making a claim for UC.
Is there any way they can remain on ESA or Claim GPC, or is their only option UC
They cannot remain on ESA if the older party is the claimant. Entitlement to ESA will end when he reaches pension age, nor can they claim PC.
If HB is also in older party name then that also ends. See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/housing-benefit-adjudication-circulars-2019/a92019-mixed-age-couples-further-guidance#existing-hb-claimants-under-pension-age-on-15-may-2019 paragraph 4.
UC it is.[ Edited: 27 Nov 2020 at 07:32 pm by Ianb ]
Adding to previous reply.
In think that in order to ensure that ESA LCW/LCWRA status is transferred across to UC there needs to be no gap between ESA and UC. Therefore they need to claim UC before pension age is reached otherwise ESA entitlement will have ended creating a gap and claimant will need new WCA and have to serve 3 month waiting period.
Given two week run on for ESA and HB it seems to make sense to claim at least two weeks before reaching pension age. (There is another discussion on the forum somewhere about whether the two week run on can apply if entitlement to the legacy benefit ceases for a reason other than the UC claim but I can’t recall if there was a consensus view about that.)
Thank you Ian!