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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Benefits for older people  →  Thread

Pension Credit questions

Nicola Hersh
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Wife has recently gone into permanent residential care. Husband does not contribute to care costs. As a couple they did not claim benefits but husband would like to claim pension credit.

They have a joint savings account and he also has larger savings solely in his name.

1) Would PC look at total savings or deduct 50% of joint savings? Possible husband may be just over the limit for PC.

2) If he bought a prepaid his funeral plan for his wife or himself, could that be considered as taking ‘advantage’ of the scheme? They are both in late seventies. 

3) If he eventually inherits his wife’s pensions, would that be ignored during the assessed income period or would the wife be considered a partner and therefore a new PC assessment?

Thanks for help

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Both for Pension Credit and for any local authority contribution to her care costs, the joint account would usually be split 50/50 unless you can demonstrate why a different split should be used.

We generally suggest opening separate individual bank accounts in this kind of situation, to make money management easier. Just to be clear, they are treated as single people for both situations also, so if the LA are helping with the wife’s care home fees, then they should only be looking at the wife’s resources and not the husband’s.

The value of a funeral plan is disregarded as capital for PC and one would hope spending on this would not be caught by deprivation rules.

There are no assessed income periods (AIP) anymore, they were abolished in 2016. Some pre-existing PC claimants still have an indefinite AIP but he won’t get one with a new PC claim.

Nicola Hersh
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Thank you for your really helpful reply.  The issue is about PC for the husband (not the wife’s care costs as this was sorted out before I became involved.)

If the couple decide not to split their savings but continue with a small amount of savings in joint names and a larger amount of savings in the husband’s name, how would it work with PC.?
For example, if the joint savings were £7000 but the husband’s sole savings were £8000, what figure would PC use for the husband’s savings?

Sorry I am a bit baffled.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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£11,500, the £8,000 that are in his sole name and then half of the £7,000 from the joint account (unless as I say they can show that either party owns a greater or lesser amount for whatever reason).

Prisca
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benefits section (training & accuracy) Bristol city council

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IIf the wife is in a care home permananently, then she is not part of his household and therefore his PC should be assessed as a single person
The £ in the joint account should be taken at 50% because he jointly owns it with his wife, who isnt part f his household.

The value of funeral plans are disgregarded for customer over pension age.

PC would need to demonstrate that the only reason the funeral plans had been ppurchased was to gain benefit entitlement - if they did this is would be deprivation of capital and the claim would be assessed bsuing the original amount of capital.
This seems like a very high bar for PC to get over. A pensioner, whose spouse has recently been admoitted to perm resident ial care is sorting out funeral arrangements and paying for them. 

Re the pension, it depends what assessment period is set when he claims - he is likely to need to declare the change in his income if/whe he starts to get another source of income of his own

Nicola Hersh
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Thank you all for your help

Gareth Morgan
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Prisca - 14 March 2024 05:14 PM

PC would need to demonstrate that the only reason the funeral plans had been ppurchased was to gain benefit entitlement - if they did this is would be deprivation of capital and the claim would be assessed bsuing the original amount of capital.
This seems like a very high bar for PC to get over.

It doesn’t have to be the only reason but it does have to be a ‘significant operative purpose’. I.e. That the purchaser knew about the effect on a benefits claim and that was part of the reason it was purchased.

Nicola Hersh
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Gareth - thanks