Who should read
All housing allowances (HB) Staff
Universal Credit (Persons Having Attained State Pension Credit Eligibility Age) Regulations, 2020 (Amendment)
The information contained in this circular does not affect the content of the HB Orientation manual.
Additional copies of this circular / copies of previous circulars are available on Housing allowance for local authorities: adjudication circulars
For questions about:
1. This Circular provides information on the Universal Credit (Persons of the Age of Eligibility for State Pension Credit) (Amendment) Regulation 2020 (SI 2020/655), which was adopted on June 29, 2020 and entered into force on November 25, 2020.
2. SI 2020/655 makes changes to the Housing Allowance (Persons of Age Required for State Pension Credit) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/214), but does not make any changes. the Housing Allowance Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/213).
3. SI 2020/655 also makes changes to the provisions relating to mixed-age couples in the Social Protection Reform Act 2012 (entry into force no.31 and transitional and savings provisions and entry into force no. ° 21 and 23 and transitional and transitional provisions (amendment)) Ordinance 2019 (SI 2019/37) See circulars A3 / 2019 and A9 / 2019 for guidance on mixed-age couples.
4. Right to universal credit (UC) ends when a single person or the youngest member of a mixed couple reaches the legal retirement age. At this stage, applicants can apply for a pension credit and / or housing allowance (HB).
5. UC the legislation provided for a monthly payment covering the period from the start of the monthly assessment period until the day on which the statutory retirement age was reached if an advance request for the pension credit had been made.
Changes to UC regulations
6. IF 2020/655 fine UC regulations so that the right to UC may continue throughout the final assessment period in which the applicant reaches the pension credit eligibility age.
7. The regulation also makes changes to the restrictions on:
- claims for HB and
- right to HB and Pension credit – during the final valuation period in which the UC the applicant reaches the age of eligibility for the pension credit
8. Changes have also been made to the restrictions on the right to HB and the pension credit during the first valuation period in which a UC the applicant forms a mixed-age couple with a partner who has reached the age of eligibility for pension credit.
Right to UC, HB and Pension credit in the final UC evaluation period
Right to UC
9. A basic condition for being entitled to UC is that the applicant has not reached the age of eligibility for the pension credit. When a UC single applicant, or the youngest member of a mixed-age couple, has reached the age of eligibility for pension credit, the granting of UC is replaced and terminated due to a relevant change in circumstances. Prior to November 25, 2020, the effective date of the replacement was:
- where no request for early pension credit is submitted, on the first day of the assessment period in which the applicant has reached the age of eligibility for pension credit; Where
- when the person has applied for an advance for the pension credit, the date on which the applicant reached the age of eligibility for the pension credit
10. From 25 November 2020, when a UC the compensation is replaced because the applicant reaches the age of eligibility for the pension credit, the date of entry into force of the decision is the first day of the assessment period after the assessment period during which the change takes place. This applies whether or not the person makes a request for a pension credit.
11. This applies when the UC the applicant who reaches the age of eligibility for the pension credit is:
- a single applicant, or
- the youngest member of a mixed-age couple
12. This change means that UC continue to make payment for the entire assessment period in which the applicant or younger member of a mixed-age couple reaches pension credit eligibility age.
Norman and Audrey are joint applicants from UC. Their evaluation period begins on the 4th of each month. Audrey has already reached the age of eligibility for the pension credit. Norman reaches the pension credit eligibility age on January 7, 2021. Audrey and Norman’s UC award is superseded and ends on February 3, 2021.
Complaints for HB
13. Normally a UC the claimant does not have the right to claim HB. However, there are exceptions to this. As of November 25, 2020, exceptions include a request for state retirement age HB by a UC applicant who has reached the age of eligibility for pension credit and whose granting UC ends as in paragraph 10.
Right to HB
14. Normally a UC the applicant does not have the right to HB for any period of UC right. However, there are exceptions to this. From November 25, 2020, exceptions include the right to HB for UC applicants who reach the age of eligibility for pension credit and whose UC the sentences end as in paragraph 10.
Separation or mourning
15. When the applicant who has reached the age of eligibility for pension credit is no longer a member of a mixed couple due to separation, divorce or bereavement, the applicant is considered single from the date UC the right ends rather than from the date of the separation of the couple or of the death of the youngest member of the couple.
16. UC the right normally ends on the first day of the assessment period in which the couple separates, is treated as separated or divorce. In the event of mourning, the surviving member of the couple may retain the right to UC up to two assessment periods after the assessment period in which the partner died. This also applies to mixed-age couples where the surviving member has reached the pension credit eligibility age on the date of bereavement. They can choose instead to waive the right to UC at any time during the three month performance period.
Chantel and Paschal are a mixed-age couple entitled to UC. Their evaluation period begins on the 9th of the month. Chantel has already reached retirement age. Paschal dies on November 28, 2020. Chantel can retain the UC entitlement as if she were still a co-applicant until February 8, 2021, and claim Pension Credit and HB from February 9, 2021 as the sole applicant. Alternatively, she can choose to give up her right to CPU sooner. Chantal decides to renounce her UC on December 3, 2020. Her UC allocation ends on November 8, 2020, and she can be treated as a single claimant from November 9, 2020 and claim the Pension Credit and HB from the same date.
New contempt for income in HB
17. Social security benefits are considered income for HB purposes. From November 25, 2020, UC adds to the list of benefits that can be overlooked. This means that the final payment of UC is not taken into account when a request for retirement age from the State HB is done during the final UC evaluation period.
Leigh is a single UC eligible claimant, and her assessment period begins on the 8th day of the month. On February 15, 2021, he reached the age required for pension credit. Leigh’s UC entitlement ends March 7, 2021. Leigh claims HB from February 15, 2021. Her UC grant for the period February 15, 2021 to March 7, 2021 is not counted as income when calculating his right to HB.
Right to HB and the pension credit during the first UC Evaluation period
18. Normally a UC the applicant does not have the right to HB or pension credit for any period of UC right. However, there are exceptions to this during the first UC evaluation period when the applicant is a new applicant partner.
19. As of November 25, 2020, exceptions include when the new requesting partner:
- has reached retirement age, and
- is entitled to state retirement age HB or Pension credit – and the allocation of state retirement age HB or the pension credit ends after the first day of entitlement UC
Sarah has been entitled to UC as a sole applicant since November 10, 2018. On January 28, 2021, she joins her partner Lee who has reached the qualifying age for state retirement age and is entitled pension credit and state retirement age HB. Sarah and Lee are considered UC claimants as joint applicants from January 10, 2021, the first day of the assessment period in which they formed a couple. Lee receives a pension credit in arrears, so his pension credit grant ends on the first day of the pension credit benefit week which includes January 28, 2021 (the day they married ). His allocation of the HB State retirement age ends as of the first day of the HB compensation week following the compensation week which includes January 28, 2021. The HB and the pension credit does not affect the amount of UC entitlement.
UC applicants approaching state retirement age
20. When a UC the applicant is approaching retirement age a letter is posted on the applicants UC Account. The letter explains that the applicant will no longer obtain UC when they reach state retirement age and this will orient them towards:
- claim state pension
- apply for a pension credit, including if they want to claim HB
- apply for HB alone
21. All applicants are directed to www.gov.uk and the appropriate telephone numbers of the Ministry of Work and Pensions hotlines for state pensions and pension credit. There is also a section in the letter that instructs the applicant to apply for HB.
22. When the applicant calls the Pension Service, if he has accommodation costs, he can request HB next to their pension credit application. This will use the existing business process and a local authority complaint information document will be sent to the local authority (THE) via Upload your files.
23. If the applicant does not request a pension credit, then he should contact the THE and apply directly for HB. Applicants will be listed for more information on www.gov.uk and search for “Applying for housing allowance”.
24. The applicant is required to notify UC they will have claimed HB.