Child Maintenance Disregards

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    Hi there.

    Hoping someone can help me. I’ve been doing some testing on our new IBS release (we are a few released behind) and it’s saying that where child mainteance is received by a pension age claimant, that there is now a 100% disregard. Can anyone tell me when this came in and where I can find the circular/legislation that says this.

    I’ve spent the last hour looking for it and can’t find.

    Thanks very much

    Vicki Owens
    Training Officer

    Kevin D

    A tentative response (‘cos these things just seem to change at the snap of a finger nowadays…).

    The version of the regs on this site still shows maintenance as counting as income – [b:7479ae29ed]HBR(SPC) 29(1)(o)[/b:7479ae29ed].

    If it’s changed, I’ve missed it too…..


    If there is a change in this, I don’t think you are the only one, Kevin.
    Not heard of it either.

    Subseqently posted – Schedule 5 20 of the HB 60+ regs seems to me to be saying £15 disregard where a family premium is payable


    Maintenance mentioned in Reg 29 (1) (o) refers to the claimant or partner. There is no mention of maintenance in respect of a child in the Regulation.

    Therefore, along with CTC and CHB etc, does this therefore mean that maintenance in respect of a child should not be counted as the claimant’s income?

    That’s what I think this Reg means, being under the impression that any income IRO a dependant child is disregarded in 60+ cases.

    Schedule 5 (20) states that £15.00 is disregarded but seems to be a straight lift from the old 1987 schedule. Maybe this is true for maintenance IRO claimant or partner (but I always thought that the £15.00 disregard only applied to maintenance IRO dependant children) and this refers to an award of a Family Premium. If maintenance IRO a dependant child is fully disregarded then this sub – para is superfluous.

    Do I know what I'm doing? The jury's out on that........................


    I think this has been the case ever since the 60+ variant of the HB Regs 1987 was introduced in October 2003 (“the evil twin”). In Reg 25(1)(m) of the evil twin Regs, maintenance included as income was limited to that paid for the maintenance of the claimant, as opposed to that paid for children. This was to match the treatment of maintenance in pension Credit itself: as an adult only benefit, Pension Credit does not take into account children and their associated income in any way at all. In the evil twin Regs, to guarantee a smooth taper all the way up the income scale with no sudden leaps or traps, “standard” HB calculations had to be done using the same income rules that would apply in Pension Credit itself. In particular, any discrepancy between the evil twin Regs and the Pension Credit scheme could have resulted in people being worse off overall after claiming Pension Credit because there was a combined income taper of 91% in the Savings Credit range.

    As for Schedule 5.20, there seems to be double-counting here. I agree it is almost certainly a direct lift out of the 1987 Regs pre-evil twin, but it is there and its wording is not confined to child maintenance. So I think a pensioner with a Family Premium gets the £15 disregard from personal maintenance on top of the complete disregard of child maintenance.


    Hi Vicki,
    we have taken the same view as Peter, in that Reg 29(1)(o) only defines maintenance paid in respect of the claimant or partner to be treated as income. Therefore, maintenance paid in respect of a child is disregarded for Pension Age claims not in recepit of Pension Credit.
    (There is also previous thread on hbinfo with a case example and a straight forward response from Peter, it starts “Clmt is a grandmother aged 61…” if you want to search for it.)

    IBS OPENSystems


    I had the same question asked when we were testing an IBS release recently. I found the answer in my DWP Pension Credit Handbook, Section 2, point 161.

    [i:6811bf482e]The categories of income that will be taken into account in Pension Credit are defined in legislation. Items not defined in the legislation will be completely ignored, such as […] children’s income and payments in respect of children, such as maintenance and increases for dependent children paid with certain social security benefits[/i:6811bf482e]

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