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On 15 May, the Government started making it harder for couples to claim Pension Credit and Parkinson’s UK estimate it could impact on hundreds of people with Parkinson’s.

Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit for people of pension age. It is designed to top-up the income of people who do not have a full State Pension. The Government has decided that from 15 May 2019 it will be changing the criteria which decide when couples can claim Pension Credit.

Previously, once 1 member of a couple reached pension age then both would be entitled to make a joint claim. However, from May, couples will only be able to make a joint claim once both members of the couple have passed State Pension age. In the meantime, they will have to claim Universal Credit.

Those who manage to claim Pension Credit before 15 May will not be affected by this new rule, even if 1 of the couple is below State Pension age.

Couples can usually receive £255.25 a week on Pension Credit, but for Universal Credit couples can only receive £115.13 each week – a loss of income of around £7,300 a year.

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source: Charity Today
published: 16 May 2019

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