Benefit’s Expert: “My son is approaching 18”

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With John Gordon

Q I MAY take early retirement next month at the age of 51 to care for my husband and wonder what benefits I might be due.

He is aged 53, severely disabled and receives Disability Living Allowance and Incapacity Benefit.

My daughter receives Carer’s Allowance for looking after him, but now has a baby and finds it hard work.

If I stopped work I would receive a lump sum of £14,000 and a pension of £2,213 a year.

We are still paying off our mortgage.

Mrs. H. (by email).

A YOU would be entitled to some Council Tax Benefit (CTB) and perhaps some Income Support (IS).

This is based on the following assumptions about your circumstances:-

You will take over claiming Carer’s Allowance of £53.90 from your daughter;

Your husband’s Incapacity Benefit is paid at the long-term rate of £91.40 a week;

Your lump sum of £14,000 is the only capital held by you or your husband. (If your joint capital is more than £16,000, you would not qualify for either IS or CTB).

In these circumstances you would be entitled to CTB that would reduce your Council Tax to about £473 a year.

You might also be entitled to IS, but this would depend upon what you would be allowed for your mortgage.

This means that you would qualify for IS if your outstanding mortgage was more than £39,000. If you were to be entitled to IS you would also be entitled to a full Council Tax rebate.

Q I AM coming up to 62 and receiving Incapacity Benefit, Pension Credit and have full refunds on my rent and Council Tax.

I was thinking of coming off Incapacity Benefit, but am unsure if Pension Credit is to be scrapped. If it is, what would I then claim?

G.R.

A THE Government has no plans to do away with Pension Credit. If your Incapacity Benefit were to cease, your Pension Credit would increase to compensate, so your income would remain at £132.60 a week.

Q I PAY maintenance for my two children who live with my former partner.

My son is approaching 18 and I wonder how long I will be liable to pay maintenance for him. He is studying for three A-levels.

S. (by email)

A THE absent parent remains liable to pay for as long as Child Benefit (CB) is payable in respect of the child.

Young people under 20 continue to be entitled to have CB paid for them if they are in A-level education or the equivalent for more than 12 hours a week.