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How will Pension Credit affect my Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

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When will my Housing Benefit / Council Tax Reduction Start From?

The General rule we follow is that benefit can be allowed from the Monday after the date on which we receive your application form.

However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule and some of them are specifically aimed towards assisting pensioners.

We may be able to allow benefit from up to 3 months before the date you actually make your claim. So, if you think that you might have been entitled to Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Benefit for a period before you made your claim please mention this to us when you submit your application form.


How is Pension Credit taken into account for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction purposes?

Pension Credit is taken into account as income whenever Housing Benefirt and/or Council Tax Reduction is calculated.

However, the rules about Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction for claims made by pensioners have been changed to make sure that the value of the extra money awarded in Pension Credit is not lost due to reductions in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.

Those entitled to Guaranteed Credit normally qualify for full Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction. However there are exceptions to this rule when full Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction may not be paid such as: -

  • When other adults live in the home (except a partner or carer)

  • If the rent charged for non council owned accommodation is too high

If you only receive the Savings Credit or are not entitled to the Pension Credit, the Council will work out your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit by taking into account the income and capital that you have (including the Savings Credit).

However, unlike Pension Credit, if you only receive the Savings Credit you will not normally be able to claim either Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction if the total value of your savings and investments is more than £16,000. There are however exceptions to this capital limit rule and you should contact us for further advice if you require more information.

If you receive the Guaranteed Credit, this capital limit will not apply.


Changes in Your Circumstances

If you are receiving Pension Credit, then you will have been told to report most changes in your circumstances to the Pension Service.

However, there are some changes in your circumstances that you MUST still tell the Council's Benefits Section about. These are: -

  • If you are renting a non-council property you must tell us about changes to your tenancy; for example

    • if your rent increases or decreases

    • the terms of your tenancy change

    • your tenancy ends etc.

  • You must tell us if you or your partner are going to be absent from your home if it's likely to be over 13 weeks.

  • You must tell us if you or your partner are admitted to hospital.

  • You must tell us if the membership of your household changes.

  • You must tell us if your Child Tax Credit changes.

  • You must tell us if your capital increases over £16,000


If you are not sure about whether to report a change in circumstances to the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction section, please  contact us for advice immediately.


Once you have told us about a change in your circumstances the Council will look at your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction claim to check : -

  • Whether a re-assessment is required.

  • From what date your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction claim needs to be re-assessed.

Your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction claim will not always be reassessed from the time the change in your circumstances took place. The rules within Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction that tell us when to recalculate benefit from have been adjusted to make sure that :-

  • Changes that cause us to award more Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction result in as much extra benefit as possible being awarded.
  • The effect of reductions in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction will be  delayed.

More help and advice.

If you are not sure about whether to report a change in circumstances to the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction section, please contact us for advice immediately.

If you would like to talk to someone about how much Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction you are or might be entitled to, please  contact us.

If you think you may be entitled to Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction you should make a claim immediately.





© 2014 City and County of Swansea
Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea. SA1 3SN. Tel: 01792 636000 Fax: 01792 636340