Changes to pension Credit eligibility for May 2019

From the 14th of May there are changes to the way couples can claim Pension Credit.


Couples with one person over State Pension age and the other under that age – a ‘mixed age couple’ – can (subject to eligibility) currently choose to claim support either as:
• a ‘pensioner couple’ through Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit for persons who have reached Pension Credit qualifying age (referred to here as “pension age Housing Benefit”), or
• a ‘working-age couple’ through Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support and/or Housing Benefit. Or the younger member of the couple can (subject to eligibility) claim support for both members of the couple through Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and/or Income Support.


From 15 May 2019, mixed age couples will no longer have the choice of being a pensioner couple for new claims to benefit.

New claims for a mixed age couple  will be for Universal Credit

Potential impacts
A mixed age couple on JSA, ESA or Income Support, would be able to receive a pensioner increase. There is no equivalent pensioner increase on Universal Credit.

Be subject to current freeze  - Pension credit currently increases every year

Subject to the bedroom tax

Benefit Cap

No Pension credit – saving credit element

Massive reduction in income – basic amounts for;

  • a pension age couple £248.00 per week pension credit amount


  • A working age couple £498.98 per month ( £115.14 per week) Universal Credit
  • £132.86 reduction in income

For more infomation read this pension credit factsheet (Pdf)

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