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UC OR HB - When one hits pension age

CJ
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Notting Hill Housing Association (London) - Buisness Improvement Department

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Hi All -

I have a couple where the female will hit state pension age in one month.

She currently receives ESA (Support g) and her Husband is on the claim. They have full entitlement to HB and both get PIP. The husband receives carers allowance from April 2022.

She has been informed that her State Pension will be £740 per month. 
The current rate of ESA is £437.60 fortnightly so a monthly figure of £875.20. So a shortfall of £135.20 per month.

However, she will receive an Occupational Pension which will be roughly £163.00 per month. So this makes up for the shortfall from ESA.  In fact its £28 per month extra.

My questions are - HB are saying she can stay on HB and not have them claim UC. Is this correct? The male is below pension age.
Also - if it was UC would he have to make the claim - and then the pension will be taken pound for pound?

Please confirm it will be UC and no PC claim.

I also get PIP £453.20 per month.  On top of figure above . Tony gets PIP £334.00 per month an also Carers £69.70 from April 2022.

I look forward to hearing back.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Sigh, this is so annoying that these keep cropping up (not your fault at all but the LA staff should know better.

See A9/2019 Mixed age couples: further guidance (revised)

Existing HB claimants: under pension age on 15 May 2019
4. Couples who are under State Pension age and have an award of HB assessed under the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/213), ‘working age HB’, will become a mixed age couple once one member reaches pension age. At this point rather than re-assessing the claim under the Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/214) ‘pension age HB’, the couple should be advised that they need to claim Universal Credit (UC). The relevant provision is Article 6(2)(b) and (3)(a) of SI 2019/37. See Annex A for additional operation guidance.

5. Where the younger partner is in receipt of Income Support (IS), Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based) (JSA(IB)), Employment and Support Allowance (income-related) (ESA(IR)), the couple will not be required to claim UC and can continue to receive working age HB if they have an existing claim until there is a relevant change in their circumstances which ends entitlement to those benefits. They will have to claim UC if they need further help with their housing costs.

As it’s the older partner receiving ESA, their HB award also stops at pension age, as with the ESA award.

It’s important that they make their UC claims at least two weeks before the older partner reaches state pension age so that they get the full two-week run-on payment of ESA as well as HB and that the LCWRA element can carry over into the UC award from day 1. The younger partner should also complete their UC claim by saying they care for the older partner (provided it is the daily living element of PIP that is in payment) as then they can have the carer element included also. (eta just seen you said they’re already getting CA so that should be fine).

Yes, pension income whether State Pension or occupational pension is taken into account in full and they can’t defer claiming State Pension or occupational pension as they’ll be subject to notional income/capital rules if they do that.

Ianb
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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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It really is depressing that even basic MAC rules are still so badly understood three years after they were introduced

Charles
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See also this, just published today, reminding LA staff of the MAC rules. Although it seems the mistakes they are concerned about are the opposite, where LAs are not allowing claims when they should.

Ianb
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Charles - 09 May 2022 08:13 PM

See also this, just published today, reminding LA staff of the MAC rules. Although it seems the mistakes they are concerned about are the opposite, where LAs are not allowing claims when they should.

Certainly that’s the way round I’ve had to deal with. Thanks for the link.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Charles - 09 May 2022 08:13 PM

See also this, just published today, reminding LA staff of the MAC rules. Although it seems the mistakes they are concerned about are the opposite, where LAs are not allowing claims when they should.

Thanks Charles, that’s good to see as we’re still also hearing reports of people being denied the ability to make HB claims (and PC claims come to that).

CJ
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Notting Hill Housing Association (London) - Buisness Improvement Department

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Thanks for the responses all - it is what i expected then UC.

Thanks

CJ
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Notting Hill Housing Association (London) - Buisness Improvement Department

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Hi all - Can you please confirm whether they both make a UC claim (Single claims) or together.

Thanks

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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CJ - 10 May 2022 10:56 AM

Hi all - Can you please confirm whether they both make a UC claim (Single claims) or together.

Thanks

We cover this in section 3 of our Universal Credit factsheet

You must provide all necessary information and evidence to show you meet the criteria for UC. Failure to do so can lead to your application being turned down. If one partner is unable to claim (e.g. due to illness), the other partner can be allowed to claim for both of you.

Before making a claim, make sure you have details of your National Insurance number, bank account, and, if applicable, details about your partner and any dependents. You need a unique email address, as does your partner if you have one. If you have a partner, you both need to create an online account and link them together with a special code.

If in doubt, why not signpost them to the Citizens Advice Help to Claim service?