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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Housing costs  →  Thread

UC and housing costs after state pension age

leeosborne
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Airewharfe Mental Health Services, BDCT, Keighley

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Hello,

Apologies for asking this but have been unable to find the information.

Am supporting someone to claim state pension and pension credit. They are on universal credit and currently have housing costs paid through UC. Who pays the housing costs when they reach state pension age?

Have arranged a benefit check but the suspense is killing me.

Thanks!

Lee

Elliot Kent
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Shelter

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Housing Benefit.

Gareth Morgan
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Elliot Kent - 20 August 2021 01:39 PM

Housing Benefit.

Assuming the housing costs are rent (and not crown tenants or co-ownership).  Mortgage interest loans would carry on via DWP.

leeosborne
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Thank you!

How far in advance can the housing benefit claim be made?

thanks again,

Lee

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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The HB claim can be made at the same time as the PC claim so effectively up to 4 months in advance.

leeosborne
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Thank you!

ZoeHBF
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I have this same issue and haven’t dealt with it ever before. Our client reaches state pension age on 7th November, and I submitted his claim for Pension Credit (on realising he was coming up to this age) on Tuesday, received by Pension Credit yesterday. They said on the phone it would take 20 working days to be processed, which if so means there will be a bit of a gap between his UC stopping (presumably on the 6th) and when he would be eligible for PC, from 7th.

I was wondering:

a) what happens when someone becomes not eligible for UC (because of reaching state pension age) midway through an assessment period? Will he receive a rare part-payment, or just not at all? (The latter being what UC would do if someone moved house in the middle of an assessment period and no longer needed rent from a date, they just wouldn’t pay it for the entire AP? His assessment period ends on the 15th of each month, so if he reaches SPA on the 6th, he’s missing out on 3 weeks of UC if he doesn’t get a part payment.)

b) with these timescales in mind, should he apply for housing benefit in advance now, to cover his rent from 7th November, even though he’s not yet been awarded Pension Credit?

HB Anorak
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UC will run on until the end of the AP in which 7 November falls, but SPC will still begin immediately and (if required) HB from the Monday following.  Neither HB nor SPC will affect the UC assessment, nor will UC affect the SPC/HB assessment.  State Pension will in theory be counted as income in the final UC month, but it seems that in practice DWP does not normally bother with this if the SRP is not actually paid until after the UC claim closes: https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/16836

The Council will probably say that HB cannot start until the Monday after 7 November and I think they are probably right if they do say that.  There is a rather tortuous counter-argument about a pensioner using the working age HB Regs to backdate a claim made within a month of reaching SPC age but realistically it would take a UT decision to get it accepted widely.

ZoeHBF
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I’ve been a bit scrambled by this, helping a client apply for Pension Credit and housing benefit whilst receiving UC including housing costs. He turned SPA on 07/11/1955, and his last UC payment was on 22/10/2021, as his last assessment period was 16/09-15/10. He’s had to live off his very meagre savings since then and to date.

His Pension Credit claim form was received by them on 21/10. We called them about a week after, and were told that it would take 20 working days from the day it was received for his claim to be processed, so by 19/11. They said this again when we chased a week later, to ask if any further information was needed.

When I called again on 29/11, after he had not received any letters or payments, I was told that it would actually be 20 working days from the date he reached SPA, rather than from the date they received his claim form, which is by today 06/12.

The client has still not received any letter, phone call or payments from Pension Credit, so I called them again today, and they will call me back in 2 working days with an update apparently. I’ve never dealt with Pension Credit - is this delay and differing information usual?

We also helped him claim housing benefit on 10/11, which was the earliest I could do this after he reached SPA that weekend. Housing benefit has now been awarded but only from 15/11, and they have refused to backdate it because they can only pay it from when he reached SPA.

So at the risk of sounding naive, does this happen to all people claiming Pension Credit (and housing benefit if applicable) who are receiving UC up until then, and is there always this gap? I realise according to gov.uk you can submit a claim for Pension Credit up to 4 months before you reach SPA, which I guess we should have done here (we only realised end of October he was soon reaching SPA), but if they will then only process the claim within 20 working days of the claimant turning SPA, is there even any point in submitting a claim in advance?! And what are people supposed to live on in the meantime? And is there any room to advocate about backdating housing benefit any further?

Prisca
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Hi

The HB side is correct, he becomed eligible tpo claim HB from the date he turns pension age - this is his clain date for HB and the HB should be paid from the Monday after that.
You can make a claim in advance, but the HB can only be paid from the Monday after the customer reaches pension age, generally

I *** thought *** his UC should continue to be paid for the period including the date where he becomes pension age.  Did he close his claim or take any other action which migh mean they havent paid the last period they owe him? 

My understanding was that the backlog of state pension claims being processed was clear now, but not sure how long its meant to take - sorry

Ianb
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Prisca - 06 December 2021 06:24 PM

I *** thought *** his UC should continue to be paid for the period including the date where he becomes pension age.  Did he close his claim or take any other action which migh mean they havent paid the last period they owe him?

I agree with that. He should have had a final UC payment on 22 November.

ZoeHBF
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That’s what I had thought would happen too! No he didn’t close his claim, or even make a song and dance about imminently turning State Pension Age either. Now he doesn’t have a UC claim, I guess we could try to submit an out-of-time mandatory reconsideration of the decision to close his claim and make his last payment on 22/10 instead of 22/11? and if that’s the only remaining option, to try and claw back some money for him from this situation, does anyone have any link to any regulations/sites that show that UC should have been paid up to and including the assessment period in which he turned SPA, not the assessment period before that?

[ Edited: 6 Dec 2021 at 09:44 pm by ZoeHBF ]
Charles
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