Benefit Cap and Exempt Pensioners

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    Further to my post yesterday, (regarding the definition of a 'pensioner' for the Under Occupancy Rules – which is different to the definition for the Local CTax Support scheme)  –  Can anyone shed any light on the 'pensioner' criteria for the Benefit Cap ?

    Is it purely based on age (like Under Occupancy), or based on age and not being in receipt of a passported benefit (like CTax support scheme) ?

    Thanks – Julie

    chris harvey

    The draft Benefit Cap regs only amend the working age version of the HB regs so anyone coming under the pensioner version will not be affected.


    Thanks Chris. I appreciate that the Benefit Cap only affects the Working Age regs, and not the Pension regs. but what I’m struggling with, is the definition of what a pensioner actually is. I always believed that a pensioner was a person who had reached the qualifying age for state pension credit AND was NOT in receipt of I/S, JSA(IB) or ESA(IR), as these are ‘working age’ benefits.
    If they’ve reached the appropriate age, but are in receipt of I/S, for example, then they’re classed as ‘working age’ (and subsequently the Benefit Cap will apply to them – they won’t be exempt until they stop receiving the ‘working age’ passported benefit).
    I’ve just found a FAQ document produced by DWP, which seems to support my belief.
    Anyone else in a quandary ?


    Julie, that’s correct.

    To recap : the standard distinction is between working-age and pension-age regulations. The benefits cap and bedroom tax only affect the WA regs.

    You fall under the pension-age regs if

    (1) the claimant (or their partner if they have one) has reached QAFSPC
    (2) neither the claimant (nor partner if they have one) receives a working-age benefit (IS/IBJSA/IRESA.)

    For the benefits cap you just use the standard test.

    For the bedroom tax *only* there is a further exclusion so that there’s no bedroom tax if you (or your partner if you have one) have reached QAFSPC (even if you fall under the WA regs via leg 2):

    The LCTS definition is no different to the standard test except that

    (a) it forsees the introduction of UC as a working age benefit (which is sensible); and
    (b) currently, it fails to properly glue mixed-age couples together (but hopefully that will be fixed.)

    (Keeping in mind that we’re talking about the *draft* regs for bedroom tax, benefits cap and LCTS)


    Ref: My previous posting, I meant to mention that it’s Q37 on page 12

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