Universal Credit is an income-related benefit, which may be paid to eligible claimants in order to help with living costs. The system is replacing six other types of benefits, known as legacy benefits. Those who have reached state pension age can generally not claim Universal Credit, but can usually instead claim the state pension. The amount that a person gets on the state pension depends on the type of state pension they are eligible to claim for, as well as the qualifying years on their National Insurance record.
That said, it may be possible for some pensioners to claim Universal Credit.
This exception applies to couples on low income who are in the situation of one member of the pair is below state pension credit qualifying age, while the other has already reached this age.
These people are known as mixed-age couples.
This is due to a change made to Pension Credit earlier this year.
Pension Credit is an income-related benefit, which is made up of two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. Recipients do not pay tax on Pension Credit.
The former tops up one’s weekly income if it’s below £167.25 for a single person, or £255.25 for couples.
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“You can apply for Universal Credit instead if you’re still not eligible,” the website adds.
If a person has been getting Pension Credit, then it’s only if their entitlement stops for any reason, such as one’s circumstances change, then they will not be able to start getting it again until the couple are eligible under the new rules.
Should a person who is currently getting Pension Credit be single but then move in with a partner who is under state pension age, then they will start getting it again when the partner reaches state pension age, the government website explains.
Last month, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said that there is a 60 per cent take-up of Pension Credit, with more than a million people entitled to receive it not yet claiming the benefit.
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