Where the mixed age couple do not fall within the ‘savings provisions’, then they would have to look at making a new claim for Universal Credit.
They would then be able to make new claims for - or stay on an award of - one or more of the working age legacy benefits:
- Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance*
- Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance*
- Income Support*
- Housing Benefit (under the working age Regulations)
- Tax Credit
For more information about the SDP gateway conditions please click here
* They need to ensure that any award of Income-Related ESA, Income-Based JSA or Income Support includes the Pensioner Premium – click here
How does this work?
The IR-ESA, IB-JSA, IS rules and have been amended to allow the older member of a mixed age couple to be treated as not having reached pension credit age in these circumstances, and the working age Housing Benefit Regulations have been amended to allow a mixed age couple who 'fail' the SDP Gateway to claim working age HB. Therefore they are not excluded from claiming working age benefits.
Where a working age couple already getting IR-ESA, IB-JSA, IS or working age HB when the older member turns pension credit age - 'fail' the SDP gateway, the DWP / HB Office should not stop the IR-ESA, IB-JSA, IS,
HB award - the award should continue.
If the HB Office have cancelled the HB claim, this can be challenged - use standard letter HB MAC7 - click here
NOTE - Because their HB will be assessed under the working age Regulations and not the pension credit age Regulations the assessment will be based on the standard couple personal allowance, any savings will be assessed under the less generous working age rules, and any Child Tax Credit in payment will be taken as income; but they should still be excluded from the Bedroom Tax (HB Reg A13 para 2(d)).
Sonia (age 65) and Marley (age 63) live in a two bedroom rented flat. Sonia has been claiming IR-ESA and HB for both of them. Her IR-ESA includes a double Severe Disability Premium.
On turning Pension Credit Age Sonia’s IR-ESA and therefore working age HB would normally stop – however, because there is an SDP included in the award, she is treated as not having reached pension credit age and her IR-ESA and HB can continue.