Benefits Expert: ‘Is there anything we can claim to makes ends meet?’

Money, money, money
Money, money, money
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I am 70 and on Pension Credit with no savings. What help could I expect from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) with the cost of my funeral?

Pensioner (Houghton)

YOU cannot claim benefit for your own funeral, but the person responsible for arranging it may qualify for help when the time comes. The responsible person would be the deceased’s partner if they had one, or if they were alone it could be a close relation or even a close friend.

That person must be receiving a low income qualifying benefit, such as Income Support or Pension Credit. The DWP would have to be satisfied that it was reasonable for this person to have responsibility for arranging the funeral.

MY wife and I are 62 and 63 respectively and she has Guarantee Pension Credit of £11.19 a week which means we pay no Council Tax.

How would our benefits be affected by receiving £24,000 as proceeds from a house sale?

W. (Hetton)

OF your capital, £10,000 is ignored, but every £500 over this counts as £1-a-week income. Capital of £24,000 would be treated as £28-a-week income and would wipe out your wife’s Pension Credit.

With your capital over £16,000 and no Guarantee Pension Credit you will have to pay full Council Tax.

You will lose benefit as soon as you get the windfall. If either of you had reached 65 however your benefits would have remained unchanged until sometime in the future.

I AM 56, receiving Incapacity Benefit (IB) and my wife works 34 hours a week. I received High Rate Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for a short while, but this stops this month.

Is there anything we can claim to makes ends meet?

Worried (Email)

YOUR wife could receive Working Tax Credit if your combined annual taxable income is under £17,785. IB counts as income, but is ignored if you transferred to it from Invalidity Benefit on 13 April 1995.

DLA is normally paid for long-term disabilities so why did yours stop so soon? You should appeal if you think the DWP has been unfair.

I HAVE been medically retired on a works pension, but am a long way off pension age.

How can I keep my National Insurance record up to date to protect my State Pension? Does my having children help?

Ann (Durham)

YOU will get National Insurance Credits if the DWP thinks you have a limited capacity for work.

You also get them if you have Child Benefit for a child under 12.