Can my husband claim Pension Credit?

My husband has Incapacity Benefit of £162.70 a fortnight and a private pension of £138.57 a month.

I earn 84.26 a week. He was 60 last November, so can he claim Pension Credit? Our mortgage is 189 a month.

Mrs. S, Ryhope.

Pension Credit rules say that you should have a minimum income of 181.70 a week plus your mortgage interest.

10 a week of your earnings will be ignored in the Pension Credit calculation, so your husband should be entitled to something.

How much will depend upon what your mortgage interest is. Having

Guarantee Pension Credit will exempt you from Council Tax.

I have Guarantee Pension Credit and a full Council Tax rebate, and will be 65 next year. I plan to sell my house, down-size and have about 23,000 left over. Would this mean an end to my current benefits?

J.B, Peterlee.

Not necessarily. It depends when you put your house up for sale. Once you are 65, the Pension Service will give you a five-year period during which time any increases in your capital will not affect Pension Credit.

You will not receive this concession, however, if your capital is expected to increase during the first year. So if you wait until the second year before selling your house, your benefit will be unaffected for four years.

I have been receiving Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, but these end in November as my 17-year-old has left school.

As I only earn 118 a week, is there any help I can claim with my Council Tax and mortgage of 152 a month?

K, by email.

Your Child Tax Credit will finish because your child is no longer dependant.

As you are no longer treated as a lone parent, you must work 30 hours a week before you could be entitled to Working Tax Credit.

You could claim Council Tax Benefit which would reduce your bill to 560 a year but no help with the mortgage. This only goes to those on Income Support, Pension Credit or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.

I am single, 49 and weekly I have 72.55 Incapacity Benefit and 52.68 Industrial Injuries. My savings are 7,225. Should I be paying full rent of 69 a week?

K.M, by email.

It depends what your rent covers. According to the council's formula, you should be paying 46.20 a week basic rent and no more than 14.21 a week Council Tax. Once you have been sick for a year, these go down to 29.78 and 9.16 respectively.