When Pension Credit is paid from
- Customers over State Pension Age on or before 5 April 2010
- Customers who reach the Pension Credit qualifying age on or after 6 April 2010
- Small amounts
- Payment with other social security benefits
- Deductions and payments to third parties
- Mortgage interest payments
Your customer will be given a regular payday for their Pension Credit payments.
Customers over State Pension Age on or before 5 April 2010
These customerswill get their Pension Credit weekly in advance on the same payday as their State Pension is paid on or would be paid on if they were entitled to it. Your customer’s entitlement will normally start, and they will be paid, from the first payday after the date they applied or from that date if it happens to be their payday.
Customers who reach the Pension Credit qualifying age on or after 6 April 2010
If your customer reaches the Pension Credit qualifying age on or after 6 April 2010 they will normally get their Pension Credit either weekly, fortnightly or four weekly in arrears. Your customer’s entitlement will start on the first day of their first full benefit week following the date of application.
A customer’s payday is determined by the last two digits of their National Insurance number. If the number is between:
- 00 and 19 their payday is Monday
- 20 and 39 their payday is Tuesday
- 40 and 59 their payday is Wednesday
- 60 and 79 their payday is Thursday
- 80 and 99 their payday is Friday
For example, if the last two digits of your customer’s National Insurance number are 58, their benefit week will begin on a Thursday and end on the following Wednesday. The day they get their first payment will be determined by the payment frequency they choose.
Any existing male Pension Credit customer under State Pension age on 5 April 2010 will continue to be paid in advance unless their Pension Credit entitlement ends before they reach State pension age.
There is a special rule for people who were getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance, immediately before they qualified for Pension Credit.
In this case, the entitlement will start, and your customer will be paid, from the first day of their Pension Credit award (if they were getting Income Support) or the date from which they applied for Pension Credit (if they were getting Jobseeker’s Allowance).
If your customer’s Pension Credit is less than £1 a week, it may be paid quarterly rather than weekly. If it is less than 10p a week it will not be paid unless payment can be combined with another benefit. [Reference 8]
Payment with other social security benefits
If your customer is getting a long-term social security benefit, such as State Pension or Attendance Allowance, this payment may be combined with their Pension Credit.
Deductions and payments to third parties
In some situations, we can deduct an amount from the Pension Credit payment before your customer gets it. The main situations when this may be done are:
- to pay mortgage interest (this is explained in more detail in the next section)
- to pay back money because a Social Fund payment was made as a loan
- to pay flat rate maintenance
- to pay back money because your customer has been overpaid Pension Credit or another benefit, or
- to pay Third Party Deductions for arrears of:
- housing costs
- miscellaneous accommodation costs
- hostel payments
- rent arrears and service charges for fuel
- fuel costs
- water charges
- council tax or community charge arrears
- a contribution to maintenance
- integration loans, or
- eligible loans
Mortgage interest payments
Your customer’s Pension Credit calculation may include an extra amount for mortgage interest.
Guarantee Credit – if your customer is getting Guarantee Credit this will be paid to their lender if they are a member of the mortgage interest direct scheme. Most lenders, including banks and building societies, have joined the scheme. We cannot make these payment arrangements if the lender has chosen to opt out of the mortgage interest direct scheme.
Savings Credit – if your customer is only getting Savings Credit we will not pay money to their lender unless they are in arrears with their mortgage repayments or if they ask us to make these payments.
Arrears deductions – if your customer’s mortgage lender is not in the mortgage interest direct scheme, we do not normally pay any mortgage interest direct to the lender. But if your customer is behind with their mortgage payments we may. We may also deduct a standard sum from their Pension Credit payment towards any arrears.
They will also need to make their own arrangements if the amount which can be paid from their Pension Credit does not cover the full mortgage payment – for example, because they are also repaying capital or because their Pension Credit entitlement is less than the extra amount for mortgage interest.
There is a leaflet available which gives more information about getting help with housing costs.
To help people access advice and support, we have commissioned a National Homelessness Advice Service leaflet – ‘Are you worried about your mortgage? Get advice now’. This provides clear advice for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages and provides contact details for advice services. It is available at www.nhas.org.uk/publications_events.html, and has been widely circulated to local services.