The impact on benefits when allowing a friend to move in

Q. I have been claiming Pension Credit for a few years alongside my Disability Living Allowance (high rate care). My friend moved in with me 3 weeks ago and my Pension Credit has stopped. I did not think that my Pension Credit was affected by having someone live with you unless they were living with you as a couple?

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 6:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st October 2019, 5:07 pm
Allowing a friend to move in and live with you can have an impact on what benefits you are able to apply for.

A. You are right that living together with someone as a couple would change your entitlement, however, it can also be affected if a friend moves lives with you in some circumstances.

It may be that you had a Severe Disability Addition included in your Pension Credit award – this can only be paid if you claim Disability Living Allowance care at the middle or high rate (or Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment for daily living), if you do not have anyone being paid Carer’s Allowance to look after you and if you live alone or only with people who receive one of these disability benefits. If your friend is not claiming one of these disability benefits then you would no longer be entitled to the Severe Disability Addition. For some people this would cause a reduction in their Pension Credit, but for people who only receive a small amount it would cause the claim to stop altogether.

It would be worth considering whether or not your friend would qualify for a disability benefit – as you could both qualify for a Severe Disability Addition.

Q. I am disabled and my wife is my carer. She has been looking for work or volunteer work and wanted to know if this would affect her Carer's Allowance?

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A. Carer's Allowance is subject to an earnings limit of £123 per week (this figure can change every tax year and is based on the earning limit on which you would pay National Insurance), so your wife would not be paid any Carer's Allowance for weeks in which she earns over that amount. If you receive any means tested benefits as a couple then they are likely to be affected by her wages.

Volunteering would not prevent your wife from claiming Carer's Allowance so long as she is still able to meet the requirement of providing 35 hours per week of care.

Q. I recently had a baby and made an application for a Sure Start Maternity Grant but this was refused because I already have another child. Is this correct because in the past friends have had payments for subsequent children?

A. Yes, this is now correct as the conditions for Maternity Grants changed and you cannot receive a payment for more than one child if you have other children aged 16 or under. The only exceptions to this would be if you have no other children in your household and you give birth to more than one child. In this situation you would receive payment for each child you give birth to. Any subsequent children you then have would not result in a further payment if you still have children in your household aged 16 or under.