Skip to main content

Pensioners (Council Tax Benefit)

Volume 451: debated on Monday 30 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to support pensioners in ill health who cannot claim council tax benefits due to their level of savings. (91655)

People aged 60 or over who are receiving the guarantee part of pension credit will normally be entitled to full council tax benefit, less deductions for any non-dependants in the household.

There is no capital limit within pension credit although a notional rate of income for capital over £6,000 (£10,000 for those in care homes) is assumed at a rate of £1 for each £500 or part of £500.

Someone in ill-health may also be entitled to an additional amount in pension credit for severe disability if they qualify for attendance allowance or the middle or highest rate of the care component for disability living allowance. This would increase the level of the guaranteed minimum income that would be applied and increase the amount of income (including notional income from savings) that someone could have and still qualify for pension credit.

People over the age of 65 who are severely disabled and have personal care or supervision needs can claim attendance allowance. It is non-contributory, tax free and is not affected by income or savings.

We want to make sure pensioners claim all the benefits to which they are entitled and know that some pensioners need support in doing so. The Pension Service Local Service, local authorities and sometimes the voluntary sector are joining forces nationally so that older people will receive a full and joined up service that can deal with a variety of issues and queries. Many older people dislike having to go through claim processes over and over again with different organisations and these joint teams can help reduce this by providing a single access point to social care and benefit entitlements such as pension credit, housing benefit and attendance allowance.

We now have 118 teams that are able to visit some of the most vulnerable people in the country, people who historically may never have applied for any entitlement or benefit and who would not be aware of referral routes or even the names of the many benefits they could receive.

State pension, winter fuel payments and free television licences are not affected by health or savings and are available to everyone who satisfies the qualifying conditions.