I went round to see a friend of mine this evening. He is 71 and a
pensioner. His wife is younger, and not yet of pensionable age. Although
he has been told consistently, the housing benefit changes will not
affect pensioners, this week he discovered, that in fact it will. He
lives in a 4 bedroomed house, where he has raised a family, who have
gone on to raise their own and has several grandchildren, who often come
to stay with him. He has now been told that because his wife is not a
pensioner, he will have to pay the 'bedroom Tax' or move to smaller,
more suitable accommodation.
I did some checking and found this-
From October 2013, when Universal Credit is introduced, if either
member in a couple is under the qualifying age for pension credit then
the couple will be treated as working age. This means they would be
expected to claim Universal Credit, and would therefore be subject to
the size criteria and benefit cap.
Note also that while the government says that pensioners are not
affected, if their partner is not a pensioner and so they have to claim
UC rather than pension credit, they could be affected unless they are
excepted from the general rule.
So much for the government's
claim it won't affect pensioners; question is, will this apply if you
are a pensioner and have a son or daughter- or even lodger or carer of
working age living with you?