Benefits Expert: ‘What could we claim?’

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Q I AM 63, live alone and receive Pension Credit of £111 a week and a works pension of £138 a month. I also have full Housing Benefit.

 My friend also lives alone and she has State Pension of about £550 a month plus a private pension of £90 a month. She gets Housing Benefit as well.

 If I were to move in with her and we were to claim as a couple, would I lose my Pension Credit and what could we claim?

Don (by Email)

A IF you and your partner moved in together and were treated as a couple for benefit purposes, only one of you would be able to claim Pension Credit. This would be Guarantee Pension Credit of about £28 a week.

 If your partner has reached the age of 65, you would be entitled to additional Savings Credit of about £7 a week.

 You would also be due maximum Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit because you were receiving Guarantee Pension Credit.

Q MY husband, who is coming up to 70, has just had a doctor come to the house to examine him for his Disability Living Allowance (DLA). He gets High Rate DLA for both Care and Mobility. Will he have to be assessed every year if we have a Motability car?

Mrs H (Sunderland)

A YOUR husband can benefit from Motability schemes as long as he is entitled to the High Rate for Mobility of DLA.

 For further information about Motability you can contact Motability Operations, City Gate House, 22 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HB (Telephone 0845 456 4566).

 The length of time DLA is awarded for, and the frequency of medical examinations for it, depends upon the individual case.

 DLA may be awarded indefinitely or for a fixed period.

 Your husband’s DLA award notice should say how long the award has been made for.

Q OUR son receives DLA at High Rates for Care and Mobility as well as £99.15 a week Incapacity Benefit. My husband gets £58.45 a week Carer’s Allowance (CA) for looking after him but should he still be receiving it?

 He had heard that you cannot get it if you have more than £100 coming in. He is retired but has a work’s pension that is more than this.

Janet (by Email)

A NO need to worry. The £100 rule for CA applies to earnings, not company pensions. Incidentally, has your son ever claimed Income Support? If his only income is Incapacity Benefit of £99.15 a week and his savings are under £6,000, he would be due £17 a week.