£3,000 in a lump sum and an annual saving of £1,000

Mr and Mrs Whelan were referred to the Community Support and Information (CSI) team by the Promoting Independence team. They are both in poor health, both were only on a state pension and neither had any private pension.

The couple had an initial benefit check, it transpired that Mrs Whelan was receiving Personal Independence Payments and Mr Whelan 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. Mrs Whelan 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 Mrs Whelan 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.

 Mrs Whelan 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 two weeks once the evidence was gathered, and finalised the claim, however as Mrs Whelan and Mr Whelan had lived abroad within the last three 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.

Mrs Whelan 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! Mrs Whelan is also entitled to a reduction in her council tax bill, which should save her £1,000 per year.

Click here to visit our Community Support and Information page and find out how we can help you.

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