BENEFITS EXPERT: Will I be losing by Disability Living Allowance?

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I have heard that some people are to lose their Disability Living Allowance (DLA). I am 68 and get DLA at the High Rate for both Care and Mobility. My friend told me that DLA stops when you are 70. Will I be losing mine?

There is no upper age limit for DLA, so your friend is wrong on that score.

DLA is being phased out for working-age people, however, to be replaced by the Personal Independent Payment (PIP), but the changes will not affect you.

People on DLA who were between the ages of 16 and 64 when PIP was brought in on April 8, 2013, are being assessed for the new benefit. As the test for PIP is stricter it will lead to some people losing DLA.

But those on DLA who had reached the age of 65 by 8 April 2013 do not have to be tested for PIP and will keep their DLA.

As you appear to have been at least 65 when the change came about, you can continue to receive DLA for as long as you satisfy the medical conditions for it.

I am moving in with my partner. I have pensions totalling £205 a week and she has State Pension topped up by Pension Credit.

How much rent and Council Tax will we have to pay?

If your partner receives Guarantee Pension Credit, she will have been receiving maximum Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

If you move in with her you will each keep your State Pensions but for Pension Credit you will be treated as a couple, with your combined incomes being taken into account.

This would put you above the level for Guarantee Pension Credit and not entitled to automatic maximum help with your rent and Council Tax.

Whether or not you qualify for partial help depends upon your circumstances. For example, you will get no help if your combined savings exceed £16,000.

You should contact your local council for a precise assessment.

I receive Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) but have been asked if I want to transfer to Pension Credit (PC) when I reach the qualifying age in November.

I have a works pension and my wife works part-time. Which should I choose?

PC has more generous rules about savings, while ESA ignores more of a partner’s earnings. In your case this means that it would be to your advantage to opt for PC if your savings (including those of your wife) were more than £8,500.

If they are less than this you would be up to £10 a week better off if you stayed on ESA.