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Pensioners urged to put in claim or risk missing out on £7k per year

PUBLISHED: 06:00 05 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:18 05 April 2019

Age UK Norwich is calling for people to check their eligibility for pension credit and housing benefit before the Government changes the rules on May 15. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Age UK Norwich is calling for people to check their eligibility for pension credit and housing benefit before the Government changes the rules on May 15. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Pensioners living on a low income with a partner of a working age are being urged to put in a claim or risk missing out on up to £7,000 a year.

Age UK Norwich is calling for people to check their eligibility for pension credit and housing benefit before the Government changes the rules on May 15.

The change will see the right to claim for the benefits withdrawn from future claimants whose partner has not yet reached pensionable age.

Jo Willingham, the city charity’s information and advice manager, said: “It’s not at all unusual for one partner to be older than the other so many older couples on low incomes could be affected by this policy change, even though many of them may not know it yet.”

Age UK is warning that the new policy will place some pensioners in the position of being financially better off if they split up and live apart from their younger partner.

This is because once the change is implemented, the older partner could be eligible for significantly more money by claiming pension credit as a single person than if the pair of them claim universal credit as a couple.

Ms Willingham said: “This may sound confusing, but the important message is that we’re urging any pensioner who thinks there is even the slightest chance that they could be entitled to pension credit and/or housing benefit to put in a claim now rather than wait until May 15 – it could give them as much as £7,000 more to spend every year until the younger partner becomes a pensioner.

“Age UK Norwich has an experienced team of advisers, who can help you through this process. Call in at our drop-in advice centre, any weekday, or phone us on 01603 496333.”

The charity’s drop-in centre operates from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday inside the Age UK charity shop at 60, London Street. There is no need to make an appointment.

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