Benefits Expert: ‘I am his only carer’

0
Have your say

Q AS my husband receives Attendance Allowance (AA) we get extra on our Guarantee Pension Credit because I am his only carer. Now my health is in a bad way too can we claim anything more because it is now a case of each of us looking after the other?

Mrs J

A IF you need a lot of looking after, you too could be eligible for AA of either £77.45 or £51.85 a week. If so your Guarantee Pension Credit will increase by £116.40 a week.

 Additionally, if your husband gives you 35 hours of care a week and he claims Carer’s Allowance, your Pension Credit will be further increased by £32.60 a week. So you could be due around £200 a week extra.

 Contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 882200 for claim forms and guidance.

Q I AM 66, receiving Guarantee Pension Credit and a full Council Tax rebate. My 65 year old partner and I are thinking of getting together but, as he still earns about £200 a week, how will my benefits be affected? You recently said that people 65 and over only have their Pension Credit re-assessed every five years.

Anon

A THE five year re-assessment rule only applies to certain changes, such as increases in capital. Other changes, like becoming a couple, take effect immediately. If you are treated as ‘living together as husband and wife’, you will be assessed as a couple based on your combined incomes which will reduce your benefits.

 It all depends upon how the DWP treats your situation. When deciding whether a couple live as husband and wife they take a variety of considerations into account, including the reasons why the pair came to be together.

 For example, where a couple live in the same household for reasons of ‘care, companionship and mutual convenience’, they should not usually be treated like a married couple.

Q I RECEIVE Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and will be 65 in July next year. Will I have to have a medical for the new benefit?

Curious. (Sunderland)

A YES. If you have not reached 65 by 8 April 2013, when the new Personal Independence Payment is introduced, you must be tested.

Q MY husband has just had his Incapacity Benefit taken away after 20 years. I work 36 hours a week for £210 plus Working Tax Credit (WTC) of £57 a month. Can we claim anything else?

Mrs A

A IF your husband’s benefit was being taken into account in your WTC calculation, tell the Tax Credit Office and you should get an increase.