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Information for mixed age couples

A 'mixed age' couple is a couple where one member is above, and the other is below, the minimum qualifying age for Pension Credit.

From 15 May 2019, mixed age couples will no longer be able to choose whether they claim Universal Credit or Pension Credit or pension-age Housing Benefit. Both members of a couple will have to reach Pension Credit qualifying age before they are entitled to Pension Credit and/or pension-age Housing Benefit. Check your state pension age.

If you're already getting Pension Credit or pension-age Housing Benefit

Mixed age couples with a partner under State Pension age already in receipt of Pension Credit or pension-age Housing Benefit will not be affected, for as long as they are still entitled to either benefit. If their circumstances change, they will need to make a new claim.

If you make a new claim or your circumstances change

New claims for Housing Benefit, Pension Credit and Universal Credit will be treated under the rules for working age claimants until the youngest member of the couple reaches State Pension age. This means the couple will have to claim Universal Credit, even if one member of the couple is over the State Pension age.

This applies to mixed aged couples who:

  • have never claimed before and are making a new claim
    or
  • have had a change of circumstances and need to make a new claim

If you're a mixed age couple and would have been eligible for Pension Credit or pension-age Housing Benefit on, or before, 14 May 2019, but you weren't claiming it, you can make a backdated claim for a maximum of three months. This means you have until 13 August 2019 to make a claim for pension-age benefits.

If you're getting Council Tax Reduction, you're still classed as a 'pension-age couple' if either of you has reached State Pension age.