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Are you a mixed age couple who may lose out?
Mixed age couples are being urged to claim benefits before it’s too late
What is a mixed age couple?
A mixed age couple is where one person is over pension age and the other is under pension age.
The website www.gov.uk/state-pension-age tells you if you are Pension Credit qualifying age.
What’s the issue?
The government changed the benefit rules for 'mixed aged couples' from 15 May 2019
Before 15 May 2019, mixed age couples could claim Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. From 15 May 2019, that may not be possible. Instead they may have to claim Universal Credit – until both are pension age.
But even after 15 May, you can still make a claim. You have up to 13 August 2019 to claim Pension Credit and Housing Benefit, so long as you were a mixed age couple and satisfied the rules for the benefit(s) since 14 May - and have continued to do so
This is because Pension Credit and Housing Benefit allow three months backdating
AgeUK say the loss could be up to £7,000 a year for those who don’t claim in time!
What mixed age couples need to know
The rule change applies to new claims so mixed age couples already getting Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit on 14 May 2019 can continue to do so as long as they stay on one of those benefits
So being on one gives some protection but being on both gives ‘double’ protection – against a change in circumstances that may take them off the benefit
What should mixed age couples do - before 13 August 2019?
Find out if you are better off on Pension Credit and / or Housing Benefit and claim them back before 15 May:
Get independent advice in Newcastle:
YHN tenants Phone 0191 2771190 Mon - Fri 8.30am - 4.30pm
Citizens Advice Newcastle Phone 0300 330 9055 Mon – Fri 10am - 4pm
Newcastle Welfare Rights Phone 0191 277 2627 Mon - Fri 9.30am - 12noon www.newcastle.gov.uk/welfarerights
Older people in West Newcastle Phone Search 273 7443 Mon - Fri 9am - 4pm www.searchnewcastle.org.uk
Shelter Phone 0344 515 1601 Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm
All advice services in Newcastle are listed in the booklet: ‘Where to Get Benefit and Debt Advice in Newcastle’ from www.newcastle.gov.uk/benefitcontacts
Important: Make sure you get advice about your individual circumstances to make sure you take the right action
Age Uk webpage
To claim Housing Benefit phone 0191 278 7878 (not Wednesdays) or visit the Council's Housing Benefit webpage
Check back here to see if anything changes
Age UK and others are asking the government to think again. If they do, we will post it here. Even if they do change their mind, it still makes sense to claim the benefits you are entitled to!