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pension credit and housing benefit

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Hi MSE,  I am a 70 year old pensioner I am lucky enough to be in a mixed age couple, we have been in receipt of pension credit since 2018 ( so pre rule change on age), until recently we had two non dependants at home so unable to claim housing benefit, ( fair doos) one of them moved out and after a friend suggested we might be able to claim we did a benefits checker and yes it came up that we were, so we applied using the local councils on-line form. A few days later we received a letter stating as we are a mixed age couple we should claim UC housing element? As I am pension age I cannot claim UC and as we have both been getting PC since 2018 should we be entitled to housing benefit or not?

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  • calcotti
    calcotti Posts: 15,696 Forumite
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    edited 22 November 2022 at 8:30PM
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    As I am pension age I cannot claim UC ..
    That isn’t correct. The whole point of the Mixed Age Couples rules are that in most cases you are required to claim UC even though you are pension age. However
    norton1936 said:…as we have both been getting PC since 2018 should we be entitled to housing benefit or not?
    I think this brings you into a group exempted from the Mixed Age Couples rules.

    Refer your local authority to Housing Circular 09/19 and ask them to look at their decision not to accept a claim.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/housing-benefit-adjudication-circulars-2019/a92019-mixed-age-couples-further-guidance#existing-hb-claimants-over-pension-age-on-15-may-2019
    See
    Existing mixed age couple tries to make a new claim to HB on or after 15 May 2019
    • the savings provisions in Article 4 of the Commencement Order allow new HB claims from mixed age couples at any time after 15 May 2019, where they have been continuously in receipt of Pension Credit from and including 14 May 2019
    You should definitely avoid UC because your entitlement will be lower.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • norton1936
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    Thank you calcotti, we have asked the council to explain their decision and are waiting for their response. With the link you have given us I believe that if they still refuse we would have a good case to appeal, thank you very much for your help. 
  • Robbie64
    Robbie64 Posts: 1,975 Forumite
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    I wouldn't wait for the council to explain their decision as it might take then a week or two or longer to do so. Point out to them that you can claim H, quoting the above circular (A9/2019). They will have a copy of it.
  • Alice_Holt
    Alice_Holt Posts: 5,994 Forumite
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    edited 22 November 2022 at 11:01PM
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    Robbie64 said:
    I wouldn't wait for the council to explain their decision as it might take then a week or two or longer to do so. Point out to them that you can claim HB, quoting the above circular (A9/2019). They will have a copy of it.
               I'd agree with this approach. 

             OP - In addition I'd copy your letter to your ward councillors and the head of revenues and benefits at the council.
    I'd make clear that you will be appealing and will take the matter to tribunal if a correct HB decision is not made.
    Give a reasonable time period for a reply, and if a response is not received follow up with a further letter to the councillors, and a formal appeal letter.
    Keep all correspondence. 
    Appeal immediately if this doesn't get the right decision, as appeals are time limited.

    It's likely that waiting for an explanation will not change anything, and delay a resolution (and may cause you to go past the appeal deadline).    

         
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Posts: 15,696 Forumite
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    Pleased to know that you now have the correct decision. Glad to have helped.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
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