The couple had an initial benefit check, it transpired that Jane was receiving Personal Independence Payments and Jim was receiving high rate Attendance Allowance. It was highlighted at this time that they could both apply for carers’ allowance, as each was caring for the other; and if this was awarded they would get an underlying entitlement which may mean they could qualify for pension credit. Jane had already applied for Carers’ allowance for herself and her husband 10 weeks earlier, but when I supported her to make a call to the DWP Carers Allowance helpline they advised Jane that no application had been received. We then re-ordered the forms for them both, and attended in August to fill in the Carers’ Allowance forms for each of them.
Jane then rang us in October to say they had both been awarded Carer’s Allowance. We then visited and did a Pension Credit online calculation to see if they would qualify for Pension Credit: this indicated that they would now qualify. With their permission an application was started for them both for Pension Credit over the phone. We attended again within 2 weeks once the evidence was gathered, and finalised the claim, however as Jane and Jim had lived abroad within the last 3 years a Pension Credit officer had to do a home visit and check their passports, dates of travel and other details relating to their time abroad.
Jane phoned us in December to let us know that she and her husband had been awarded £155 per week Pension Credit, with a backdated payment of over £3,000 paid directly into their account. She was so excited about this she hadn’t been able to sleep that night! Jane was informed that the Pension Credit department will now notify her local council that she has been awarded the benefit, and there will likely be a reduction in her council tax bill. If she is awarded full relief, this may save her £1,000 per year.