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"underlying entitlement" stopping when receiving state pension?

cjazz
cjazz Member Posts: 11 Connected
edited October 13 in Benefits and financial support
I am looking for advice regarding the "underlying entitlement" for carers allowance.

I was receiving carers allowance for my wife until I retired last December and started receiving my state pension, carers allowance payment stopped because it was classified to be an overlapping payment although we were still entitled to the "Underlying Entitlement" of carers allowance. Which enabled us to have housing and council tax benefit.

Next month my wife retires she is currently receiving ESA (support group) and PIP (enhanced), her ESA will stop when she receives her state pension instead and the PIP will continue.

Because we were previously getting help with the housing benefit and council tax I contacted my local council benefit office to make arrangements for the up and coming changes. They asked me are we entitled to the "underlying entitlement" for housing benefit and I thought we were because I am still my wife's carer but I don't get any money because of the overlapping payment and that I would still be entitled to the "underlying entitlement".

I contacted Welfare Rights because they have been dealing with our circumstances for a few years and they were unsure and believed that we would not be entitled to the "underlying entitlement" when my wife receives her state pension.

There is a significant reduction with housing benefit and council tax if we are entitled to these benefits.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thank you

Comments

  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,333 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 30
    Welfare Rights really ought to know the answer which is that you retain underlying entitlement to CA. This means that of you are claiming any means tested benefits (Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction) the calculation of your maximum amount will include a carer premium.

    Obviously, whether or not you will still have any entitlement to HB or CTR will depend on how much pension your wife receives.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • cjazz
    cjazz Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Thank you.

    The housing benefit section worked out the new HB and CTR rates based on us receiving the underlying entitlement and there was a significant reduction on these benefits. I also checked on the "entitled to" website which also indicated that we were still entitled to the underlying element when my wife retires.

    I contacted Welfare Rights just to make sure that we were still entitled to the underlying entitlement because I do not want to give the housing benefit team the wrong information. There's no reference to this underlying entitlement on any documentation from the DWP.

    Here is the actual reply received from the Welfare Rights:

    You can only be classed as receiving the underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance if you are getting a carer premium or carer addition in a means tested benefit. As you are not receiving any means tested benefits and your Carers Allowance ended, you would not have an underlying entitlement in the ‘benefits world’ even though you still care for your wife.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,333 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 30
    cjazz said: Here is the actual reply received from the Welfare Rights:
    You can only be classed as receiving the underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance if you are getting a carer premium or carer addition in a means tested benefit. As you are not receiving any means tested benefits and your Carers Allowance ended, you would not have an underlying entitlement in the ‘benefits world’ even though you still care for your wife.
    That’s back to front and rather depressing that they told you that. You get the carer premium/addition because you have the underlying entitlement, not the other way round.

    The simplest way for you to get reassurance is to ring the Carer’s Allowance unit and ask them to send you a letter confirming that you have the underlying entitlement and when from. I would expect them to have sent you such a letter when they told you that you would have an ongoing underlying entitlement when they told you payment of the CA was stopping.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • cjazz
    cjazz Member Posts: 11 Connected
    I will give the Carers Allowance department a ring this week.
    The worry I have is that because my wife's ESA is due to stop soon when we will both be receiving a state pension the underlying entitlement of CA will then stop because we will not be on a means tested benefit, apart from HB and CTR which hopefully comes under a means tested benefit?
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,333 Disability Gamechanger
    cjazz said: The worry I have is that because my wife's ESA is due to stop soon when we will both be receiving a state pension the underlying entitlement of CA will then stop because we will not be on a means tested benefit, 
    As explained in my previous post, that is back to front. Although CA itself cannot be paid because of overlapping benefit rules you have the underlying entitlement because you meet the conditions for CA. The underlying entitlement then increases your maximum amount when calculating any entitlement to means tested benefits. It doesn’t mean that you will qualify for means tested benefits - that will depend on how much your combined pension (and any other) income is.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,429 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello, we where getting rent and council tax paid as I was claiming ESA support group. About a month before my official retirement date my wife was informed from the council that the benefits will stop on my retirement date and to claim UC.so on the Monday of the week I started getting my state pension on the Friday I rang CAB UC hotline and was told to claim UC before the Friday.I opened an UC account for us both had a phone interview on the Thursday my wife’s on the Monday. Our UC not paying all the rent but we do get full council tax relief.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,333 Disability Gamechanger
    Wilco, your situation was different. When you turned pension age your ESA stopped and you therefore had to claim UC as a mixed age couple. CJazz is already pension age and it is his wife who gets ESA. That stops when she reaches pension age and UC is completely irrelevant because they will both be pensioners and are only eligible for pension age benefits.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.

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