EXPERT ADVICE: Claiming extra support when my granddaughter moves in
Q. I currently live by myself but my granddaughter will be coming to live with me for the foreseeable future.
I currently just get my State Pension, along with Housing Benefit and council tax support, I currently do not work but I am considering a part time job if this will help to support her. There is only myself in the property. I am confused as to how I can claim additional support to cover her living costs. She is 14 and still in full time education. I have been told to claim Tax Credits, other people have stated Pension Credit whilst others have stated Universal Credit. I know I can claim Child Benefit for her.
A. In this situation you are correct that Child Benefit can be claimed, as for the remaining benefits the position is as follows.
Currently Universal Credit cannot be claimed by anyone of State Retirement Age. You have not confirmed your current State Pension Income but in this situation you should apply for Pension Credit to see if the addition of your granddaughter to the household will entitle you to some Pension Credit. If you do successfully get at least one pence of Pension Credit (you may get more, this will depend on you State Pension), will then mean you may also get an increase in your Housing Benefit and 100% of you Council Tax will be paid. It will also entitle you to additional benefits, for example free dental care, The Warm Home Discount can be paid automatically amongst other help.
If you do seek part time employment then your benefit position will depend on the number of hours worked as well as your income. Working 16 or more hours may entitle you to Tax Credits (both Working and Child Tax Credits), less than 16 hours may mean you continue to get Pension Credit. I would advise a benefits calculation where the advisor has details of your current income and they should be able to give an indication of your benefits both out of work and in work with your granddaughter present