Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Search
Newsletters: Mixed Age Couples

The new rules
The good, the bad and the ugly!
Since 15th May 2019 most mixed age couples have not be able to make a new claim for Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit.
 
But some still can...…….
.....the new rules introducing this change are complex!
But we can help.


And some couples have options - see Madge and Bobby below who
can avoid being £173.88 a week worse off!
 
The Good  
Not all mixed age couples are excluded
from making new claims for Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit – certain 'protections' exist.

There is a
'window of opportunity' for some
- who may be able to ensure they stay on the pension credit age benefits making them significantly better off!

 
The Bad
Not only do the new Regulations affect existing mixed age couples,
they also impact on ‘new’ mixed age couples…..


They
terminate an existing Housing Benefit award
for most couples who become a 'new' mixed age couple.

This includes those working age couples currently getting Housing Benefit
when the older member becomes Pension Credit age.


They also end an existing Pension Credit and / or Housing Benefit award
when a single pension credit age claimant becomes a couple
with a working age person.

 
The Ugly
Some mixed age couples will be made significantly worse off by these Regulations
– many could lose over £7300 pa.

 
This loss can be triggered by certain changes in circumstances
– such as
moving home into a new Local Authority area.

There is a risk that some mixed age couples will be advised to claim
Universal Credit –and see a significant
drop in their income
– when they did have other options.

And others may be advised that they can stay on Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit when that is not the case - and see a
gap in entitlement.

 
There's more information on the website - click here
Test your knowledge.....

We've developed a quick test to see how much you know already about these new rules - it only takes 10 mins!

 
Take our test - click here
Need to know more?

We've developed an E-Learning course specifically looking at these changes - so you can ensure you're giving the right advice!

 
Find out abour our E-Learning
Madge and Bobby

IF THEY DIDN'T KNOW THEY HAD AN OPTION...…...
They would be £173.88 a week worse off!
Madge (age 63) and Bobby (age 66) live in a social rented three bedroom house (rent £135 a week).

Madge has been working and Bobby gets £125 a week State Pension.
They haven’t been claiming any benefits.

Madge is being laid off next week. She’s been told she can’t get any ‘new-style’ Contribution Based JSA as she’s not got enough NI contributions. So their only income will then be Bobby’s State Pension.

Because of the new rules they are likely to be told that they have to claim Universal Credit.

They would be entitled to £395.97 a month Universal Credit (= £91.37 a week)
(ie £498.89 Standard Allowance plus £438.75 Housing Costs (reduced due to Bedroom Tax) minus £541.67 pension income).

BUT THEY COULD HAVE ANOTHER OPTION

……..before they make the claim for Universal Credit it is worth seeing if they could make a new claim for Housing Benefit and get it backdated to before 15th May – if they can, they will then be able to make a new claim for Pension Credit when Madge finishes work.

As long as Madge was earning £360 net or less a week then they would have been entitled to Housing Benefit since before 15th May 2019.

They would then be able to make a new claim for Pension Credit.
They would be entitled to £130.25 a week Pension Credit and £135 a week Housing Benefit ie a total of £265.25 a week.
(Compared to £91.37 a week on Universal Credit!)
 
Our other resources on these changes are:
Flowchart
Designed so you can work out which mixed age couples can make new claims for Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit.

Click here 
Briefing
Not for the faint hearted!

For a deeper understanding of the rules.


Click here 
Leaflet
To encourage those who can take advantage of the 'backdating window' to makes claims before it is too late.

Click here
Welfare Reform Update Training

"This is a must for anyone working with tenants - it was so useful and will help me in my day-to-day work."

just £965+vat for an in-house course delivered to up to 16 delegates...….
includes a session on these new mixed age couple rules.

 
Welfare Reform: The Essentials - training outline
What makes our training different:
Designed for housing professionals
We tailor every course we deliver to the needs of the group.