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Housing Benefit advice for older people

Updated: 31 Aug 2014
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We don't take savings of less than £10,000 into account
Older man outside door
There are specific Housing Benefit rules that apply if you are over state pension credit age. This is an overview of those rules - if you require more detailed information about your own circumstances please call us on 03448 920 902.

I have an occupational pension - can I get Housing Benefit?

Yes, you may still get Housing Benefit although the amount payable may be affected by the amount of occupational pension you receive.

I have some savings or capital - will this disqualify me?

If your savings or capital exceeds £16,000 you are not entitled to an award of Housing Benefit unless you receive Guarantee Pension Credit.
If your savings are £16,000 or less then we will have to take your savings into account when we calculate any possible award of Housing Benefit.
The first £10,000 of your savings will not be taken into account at all but if you have more than this, the law requires us to treat your savings and capital above £10,000 as a weekly income.

How are my savings above £10,000 converted to a weekly income?

Currently you are treated as possessing £1 of weekly income for every £500 of savings or capital you possess between £10,000 and £16,000.
For example if you have £11,000 savings we would treat you as having an income of £2 per week.
If you receive, or are applying for Pension Credit, you should tell them you are claiming Housing Benefit. When the Pension Service has assessed your entitlement to Pension Credit they will tell us about this. (You must notify the Pension Service of changes in your incomes).

I have been allocated sheltered housing, but do not plan to move in until my former home is sold. Can I do this and get Housing Benefit?

No, we can only pay Housing Benefit once you have moved in. if you do not move in you will have to pay the rent for the sheltered accommodation from your own money.

If I do move to sheltered housing before my former home is sold can I get Housing Benefit?

Yes, we will disregard the value of your former home for as long as you are making genuine efforts to sell the property.

Once the house is sold I plan to give the proceeds to my son and daughter, can I do that and still get Housing Benefit?

No, we may treat you as still having the proceeds of the sale if we consider that you gave money away deliberately to allow you to receive an award of Housing Benefit or to increase the amount of Housing Benefit that is already in payment.

I do not want to sell my former home as my daughter is still living there, will this affect my Housing Benefit?

Yes, we must take the value of the property into account unless a relative who is of state pension credit age or unable to work lives in it.

What will happen if I go into hospital?

Your Housing Benefit will not be affected for the first 52 weeks, but if you are in hospital for more than a year we cannot pay any Housing Benefit.

I usually visit my daughter in England every summer, can I get Housing Benefit while I am away?

Yes, provided you are not away from home for more than 13 weeks and it is your intention to return to your home, you can continue to get Housing Benefit.
If, however, you know you will be away for more than 13 weeks before you go away or if at any time when you are away you decide that you do not intend to return, we cannot pay you any Housing Benefit.

Further information

If you require any further information regarding the Housing Benefit scheme call us on 03448 920 902