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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Benefits for older people  →  Thread

reduced personal allowances for pension age HB

WillH
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Locum adviser - CPAG in Scotland

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Joined: 17 June 2010

Looking through the guidance on this: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/housing-benefit-adjudication-circulars-2021/a32021-housing-benefit-person-who-have-attained-the-qualifying-age-for-state-pension-credit-amendment-regulations-2021

Para 8 refers to reg 13ZA of the HB(SPC) Regs which preserves the maximum rent when a family member dies for 12 months - any rent restriction which would otherwise take place is delayed. But that’s all it does - meaning the eligible rent which can be covered by HB doesn’t change (subject to other changes which might mean it is the same/higher within those 12 months).

However, what you actually get could change if the older partner (whose pension age was before 1 April 21) has died, and you reached pension age on/after 1 April 2021, as you would get the lower personal allowance.

So the bit I find misleading is in para 8 where it says ‘they continue to receive either their maximum rent or the reckonable rent due for 12 months.’

1) they haven’t necessarily been receiving this in the first place - rather, it is the amount on which the HB calc then operates, so they may well have been getting less than this
2) they will get less HB following the death because the personal allowance will be lower AND because they are now single. The fact that the eligible rent doesn’t change may protect them from what would otherwise be a worse drop, but it probably won’t make much difference (as they were a couple), and it’s not protecting them from this change to the personal allowance in any way. Of course it will also depend on their other income which may be different - this is all assuming they are not now entitled to guarantee credit so no passporting (otherwise the HB calc wouldn’t be needed).

Am I missing something/misunderstanding, or do people agree this is a misleading paragragh…

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

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I’d say “misleading” is kind

WillH
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Locum adviser - CPAG in Scotland

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Total Posts: 262

Joined: 17 June 2010

It’s also referred to in this news item:
https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/dwp-rejects-ssacs-recommendation-that-housing-benefit-savings-credit-uplift-should-be-maintained-permanently-for-younger-partner-in-mixed-age-couple-following-separation-or-bereavement

Of course it would be worse if the eligible rent provision after death didn’t exist, but it has nothing to do with the higher personal allowance issue itself, which as SSAC point out won’t continue for all existing claimants because of the risk of death/separation.

The DWP seem to be saying ‘we already do this nice thing for bereaved HB claimants so we’re not going to protect them from this change too’