Guarantee Credit

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Guarantee Credit is for people aged over the female State Pension Age at least. It can top up your weekly income to a minimum level set by government.

The standard minimum guarantee level for 2016 - 2017 is currently:

  • £155.60 for a single person
  • £237.55 for people who are married or living together as a couple (husband/wife civil partner or the person you live with as if they were your husband, wife or civil partner)

For a couple, only one person of you has to be over the minimum age.

Therefore, if you have an income lower than these amounts, it will be topped up to reach this standard minimum guarantee. Indeed, you may still be able to get a Guarantee Credit if the money your partner has as an income is more than these levels.

Additional Amounts

You may get more Guarantee Credit which includes the standard minimum guarantee plus an additional amount if you are:

  • Severely disabled
  • A carer
  • A homeowner with a mortgage

What is means-tested?

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Income

Income is assessed as the amount you have coming in each week after any tax or National Insurance is deducted. For a couple, incomes must be added together. Not all income counts is counted.

The following count as income for guarantee credit:

  • State Pensions
  • Occupational and personal pensions
  • Income from annuities
  • Most social security benefits (see below for exceptions)
  • Earnings (see below for amounts ignored)
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income from boarders or sub-tenants (see below for part ignored)
  • Regular equity release scheme payments
  • Maintenance payments made by a spouse/civil partner or former spouse/civil partner
  • Assumed income from savings over £10,000 (£10,000 for a person in a care home)

Income that is ignored includes:

  • Housing Benefit / Local Housing Allowance / Rates Relief
  • Attendance Allowance (or Constant Attendance Allowance)
  • Personal Independence Payment 
  • Disability Living Allowance or War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
  • Christmas Bonus
  • Winter Fuel Payment
  • Social Fund payments
  • Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance and Severe Disablement Occupational Allowance
  • Child Benefit or Child Tax Credits
  • Interest from savings
  • Voluntary or charitable payments (money given by charity, family or friends)

Parts of weekly income that will also be ignored include:

• £5 of earning from work for a single person

• £10 of earnings from work for a couple (whether or not both partners are working)

• £20 of earnings from work if you are a carer or if you are disabled

• £10 of a War Widows or War Disablement Pension

• £20 of any payment from a sub-tenant or boarder, and for a boarder, half of any payment over £20

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Capital and Savings

£10,000 of your savings (including capital, investments and property) is ignored for Pension Credit.

This amount is also £10,000 if you are in a care home.

For a couple, savings are added together but the limit is the same.

£1 for every £500 (or part of £500) of savings over £10,000 is counted as income. So, £20,000 of savings is equivalent to £20 of income: (20,000 - 10,000) / 500 = 20

Things that will be assessed as capital and savings include:

  • Property (other than your home)
  • Cash (including that in a bank or building society account)
  • National Savings products
  • Investments e.g. stocks and shares
  • Any savings jointly owned with others (calculate a person’s share of these)

Capital that will be ignored includes:

  • Personal possessions such as jewellery
  • Your home (if you own it and are living there)
  • The values of funeral plans
  • The surrender value of a life assurance policy
  • Arrears of certain benefits
  • Lump-sum payment from deferring a state pension
  • The capital value of a pension fund or annuity
  • The £10,000 ex-gratia payment for Far Eastern Prisoners of war
  • Money from the sale of a home if it is being kept to buy a new one

 

Working out Guarantee Credit

To work out whether you are entitled to Guarantee Credit and what amount you may get, we advise using the Direct Gov online Benefit Calculator tool.

 

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