Social security benefits—eligibility and claims
Social security benefits—eligibility and claims

The following Private Client guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Social security benefits—eligibility and claims
  • Benefits cap
  • Eligibility
  • Claims
  • Backdating
  • Over payments

STOP PRESS:The Chancellor in his 2014 Autumn Statement announced that the Bereavement Support Payment will become operational from April 2017 and will be exempt from income tax. Further legislation may be unnecessary as the Payment was legislated for in the Pensions Act 2014.

Following consultations and a review of the social security benefits system, the government introduced legislation replacing income-based jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, housing benefit, child tax credit and working tax credits for those seeking work or on a low income with Universal Credit. Some or all of these may be of interest to the elderly client.

Universal Credit has been gradually phased in from October 2013 with an anticipated full implementation during 2016 to 2017. Prior to that full implementation there will be, in effect, two parallel systems in operation.

Benefits can be classed as being either contributory or non-contributory. Basically, for those that are described as contributory, their payment will depend on whether the claimant has paid sufficient National Insurance Contributions from their earnings. These include retirement pension and Employment and Support Allowance.

Non-contributory benefits do not depend on the payment of National Insurance Contributions and include benefits such as Carer's Allowance, Personal independence Payment and Universal Credit. Their payment will depend on the claimant's personal circumstances.

Of some importance in the distinction in the payment of