Pension Credit Eligibility
To qualify for Pension Credit:
You must live in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached State Pension age to qualify for Pension Credit.
If you have a partner
You must include your partner on your application.
You’ll be eligible if either:
- you and your partner have both reached State Pension age
- one of you is getting Housing Benefit for people over State Pension age
A partner is either:
- your husband, wife or civil partner – if you live with them
- someone you live with as a couple, without being married or in a civil partnership
When you apply for Pension Credit your income is calculated. If you have a partner, your income is calculated together.
Pension Credit tops up:
- your weekly income to £201.05 if you’re single
- your joint weekly income to £306.85 if you have a partner
If your income is higher, you might still be eligible for Pension Credit if you have a disability, you care for someone, you have savings or you have housing costs.
What counts as income
Your income includes:
- State Pension
- other pensions
- earnings from employment and self-employment
- most social security benefits, for example Carer’s Allowance
What does not count as income
Not all benefits are counted as income. For example, the following are not counted:
- Adult Disability Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Christmas Bonus
- Child Benefit
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- social fund payments like Winter Fuel Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Reduction
If you’ve deferred your pension
If you’re entitled to a personal or workplace pension and you have not claimed it yet, the amount you’d expect to get still counts as income.
If you’ve deferred your State Pension, the amount of State Pension you would get is counted as income.
You cannot build up extra amounts for deferring your State Pension if you or your partner are getting Pension Credit.
Your savings and investments
If you have £10,000 or less in savings and investments this will not affect your Pension Credit.
If you have more than £10,000, every £500 over £10,000 counts as £1 income a week. For example, if you have £11,000 in savings, this counts as £2 income a week.
If you’re away from Great Britain
You can continue to get Pension Credit if you’re away from Great Britain for 4 weeks or less – for example, on a holiday.
- be eligible for Pension Credit when you go away
- remain eligible for it while you’re away
- contact the Pension Service helpline to tell them you’re going away
You can get Pension Credit for up to 4 more weeks if:
- you’re away from Great Britain because of the death of a close relative
- a close relative dies while you’re away and you cannot reasonably return to the UK
You cannot apply for Pension Credit if you’re already outside Great Britain.
You cannot get Pension Credit if you’re moving away from Great Britain permanently.
Leaving Great Britain for medical treatment
You can continue to get Pension Credit for up to 26 weeks if:
- you’ve left Great Britain for medical treatment
- you’ve left Great Britain for a period of recovery that’s been approved by a medical professional (also known as ‘approved convalescence’)
- your partner or child is leaving Great Britain for medical treatment or ‘approved convalescence’ and you’re going with them
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