BENEFITS EXPERT: Allowance claim turned down due to occupational pension

Q. I have made a claim for New Style Job Seekers Allowance, I have paid the requisite National Insurance as I have worked a number of years.

You can still continue with a nil award claim in order to obtain National Insurance credits to protect your overall contributions record
You can still continue with a nil award claim in order to obtain National Insurance credits to protect your overall contributions record

However the claim was turned down as I also have an occupational pension. Is this correct as I thought contribution based benefits ignore other types of income?

A. Although in general contribution based benefits are not reduced due to other income or the income of spouses/partners some types of income are taken into account and may result in a zero award of benefit.

As far as occupational/private pensions are concerned then these are counted as income and can reduce or result in a nil award so unfortunately the decision of the DWP is correct.

You can still continue with a nil award claim in order to obtain National Insurance credits to protect your overall contributions record, currently during lockdown there is no requirement to "sign on".

We would advise that if you wish to continue with a "credits only" claim that you speak to the DWP as there has been no guidance given on "nil awards" during lockdown and request you still wish to continue with the claim to protect your NI credits.

Q. I have been advised by The DWP that me current PIP award will end at the current assessment period.

I thought all claims will currently continue in payment and reviewed at a later date so why will my payment end?

A. The extension only applies if your current PIP award was decided by The DWP.

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If your current award was as a result of a Tribunal Decision then you award ends on the date given by the tribunal, the extension given won't apply.

Make sure you request a PIP claim pack as these aren't always automatically sent when the current award ends.