State pension credit: Couples warned to act now – or instead claim universal credit

The state pension is something which many people rely on during their later years. The type of state pension – new or basic – you can get depends on your date of birth and sex. Whether you can get the full amount is down to a number of factors. Those who are single will get paid a different figure than those who are part of a couple.

Some people may be able to claim pension credit.

This is an income-related benefit which is made up of two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

The former is a top-up fund which may apply if your weekly income is below £167.25 for a single person, or £255.25 for couples.

Savings Credit is an additional payment which is made to a person who has saved some money towards their retirement – such as a pension.

For a single person, this is up to £13.73 per week, while couples may get up to £15.35 each week via this fund.

You must live in England, Scotland, or Wales in order to qualify for pension credit, and – previously – you or your partner must have reached state pension age.

However, on May 15 this month, the eligibility rules changed when it comes to couples.

Now, the both of you must have reached state pension age.

What’s more, one of you must have reached state pension age, and be claiming Housing Benefit.

Martin Lewis issued a warning this week, advising those in a mixed-age relationship, with one person having reached state pension age, to apply for pension credit ahead of the deadline – that’s if they were eligible under the old rules.

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However, even if the pension credit changes means you’re no longer eligible, but you were before, there is a way of getting pension credit.

It’s possible to backdate your claim, if you were eligible but weren’t already getting pension credit when May 14 rolled around.

You can ask for your claim to be backdated to May 14, or before.

However, you’ll need to do this within a matter of months as the deadline for applications relating to backdated claims is August 13 this year.

If you’re still not eligible for the payments, there’s another option.

The government website advises that you can apply for universal credit instead.

Those who are already getting pension credit will continue to do so.

For these people, it’s only if your circumstances change, and your entitlement stops, that you may be affected by the changes.



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