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Income, benefits and Pension Credit

£1 Coins Your income may affect how much Pension Credit you can get. Find out more about how your income may affect Pension Credit, how Pension Credit is paid and how it might affect your other benefits.

Income that is counted towards Pension Credit

The amount of Pension Credit you get depends on your weekly income and how much you have saved or invested.

The following types of income are taken into account when calculating your Pension Credit:

  • State Pension (including basic State Pension and additional State Pension)
  • occupational and private pensions
  • most social security benefits like Carer's Allowance
  • £1 a week for every £500 (or part of £500) of 'capital' you have over £10,000 - capital includes savings and investments, and property that's not your main home
  • earnings after tax and expenses from employment or self-employment, less half of any workplace or personal pension contribution you make

If you have a partner you and your partner’s income and capital will be added together when calculating your Pension Credit.

The term ‘partner’ refers to your husband, wife or civil partner, or the person you live with as if they were your husband, wife or civil partner.

If you are a self assessment tax payer

Self-assessment taxpayers who claim Pension Credit must tell the Northern Ireland Pension Centre how much Income Tax you expect to pay for the current tax year. This will help make sure you are getting the right amount of Pension Credit and may mean you get more. This is because Pension Credit takes account of your net income after tax, including any tax on your State Pension (State Pension is taxable).

Find out more about Income Tax and tax codes.

Income that is not counted towards Pension Credit

Income that is not counted towards Pension Credit includes:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Christmas Bonus
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Housing Benefit

Further information is available about the following benefits:

You can still get Pension Credit if you are living with your family. The Northern Ireland Pension Centre looks at your income, not theirs. You can still get Pension Credit if you own your own home: the home you live in does not count as ‘capital’.

How Pension Credit is paid

Pension Credit is paid directly into your bank, building society, Post Office or National Savings account.

What to do if your circumstances change

If your circumstances change, for example your capital goes up or down, you should contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre. They can look at your claim again to make sure you are getting the right amount of Pension Credit.

How to appeal a Pension Credit decision

If you are refused Pension Credit or think it has been calculated wrongly, ask the office that dealt with your claim to reconsider the decision. If you are still unhappy with the outcome you can appeal to an independent tribunal.

Effect of Pension Credit on other benefits

If you are getting Pension Credit you may be able to get additional benefits/help such as:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Cold Weather Payment
  • Funeral Payment
  • Community Care Grant
  • Budgeting Loan
  • Crisis Loan
  • Winter Fuel Payment
  • free school meals

The Northern Ireland Pension Centre can help you apply for Pension Credit and Housing Benefit by telephone.

Are you missing out on unclaimed benefits?

If you think you're missing out on benefits, contact the Benefits Advice line and ask for a benefits check.

Help with claiming benefit

Some people need help with claiming benefit because they can’t manage their own affairs. This could be because they’re mentally incapable or are severely disabled. If so, another person - called an appointee - can be given the legal right to act for them. Find out about becoming an appointee.

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