Hospital down-rating from October

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  • #20061

    This is a job for a regulations truffle-hound.

    The story so far is that hospital rules for pensioners were originally written on the assumption that the 13-week period would be more generous than the 6 weeks that everyone else gets. Also, the downrating was not going to be as severe: the amount for a single person would be 38% of the state pension (as opposed to the 20% that it currently is, i.e. £15.50) and for couples, if I read the amending Regs right, the [b:e21e4e58ad]reduction[/b:e21e4e58ad] when both members of the couple are in hospital was going to be 2 x 20%, whereas at the moment it is reduced [b:e21e4e58ad]to[/b:e21e4e58ad] 2 x 20%.

    Then along came the May amendments, which pulled the rug from under all that. 52 weeks is now long enough for everyone, so there is no need for pensioners to have a longer period before downrating kicks in. Moreover, if you are a single pensioner, that higher 38% allowance is now cropped back to 20% like everyone else. That much I follow.

    But for pensioner couples, am I right in thinking that even after 52 weeks the amount for both members of a couple in hospital is reduced [b:e21e4e58ad]by[/b:e21e4e58ad] 2 x 20% and not [b:e21e4e58ad]to[/b:e21e4e58ad] 2 x 20%?

    I’m reading 2003/325 in conjunction with 2003/1195 and it’s making my brain hurt. You see what I mean about this needing a truffle hound.

    Not that this is going to affect many claimants, or even any claimants (because the temporary absence rules are going to apply in any case except where the hospital stay is “linked”). But for the sake of completeness and accuracy in training course notes, is the above a correct reading of the way it is?



    The answer to your question seems to be yes. Where both members of a couple are in hospital after 52 weeks the applicable amount shall be:

    1) Everything listed in HB Reg 16(1) [as amended by SI2003/325 but unamended by SI2003/1195].

    2) MINUS twice the sum of the “standard reduction”.

    “Standard reduction” is defined in HB Reg 16(3)(a) as amended by SI203/325 AND SI 20031195 as being “20 % of the weekly rate of the basic pension…”

    HB Reg 16(3)(c) is not amended by SI2003/1195 and says that the applicable amount for a couple where both are in hospital should be an amount derived from 16(1) REDUCED by twice the sum of the standard reduction.


    That’s what I thought, but it seemed so counter-intuitive that I had to ask. Thanks for truffling.

    chris harvey

    An old thread but I am puzzled over the rules for single pensioner claimants. For non pension claims the applicable amount is reduced to a set figure – £19.35. The pension credit regs as amended by SI 2003/1195 say that where a claimant has no partner the applicable amount shall be reduced by an amount equal to 20% of the weekly rate of the basic pension (the standard deduction). I take this to mean we reduce the applicable amount by the standard deduction BUT the Pension Credit handbook part 2 at para 164 states that the applicable amount is reduced to the standard deduction.
    The misc amendment regs just released don’t amend this bit of the regs so I am assuming the handbook is wrong or am I misreading the regulations?


    The HB/CTB applicable amounts are reduced [b:ae3a284a3f]to [/b:ae3a284a3f]a set figure, but Pension credits will be reduced [b:ae3a284a3f]by [/b:ae3a284a3f]a set figure.

    That’s my interpretation anyway…..

    chris harvey

    Thanks for that.
    I’m still not convinced though, I should have made it clear that its the HB and CTB (State Pension Credit) Regs 2003 (SI 2003/325) that in Reg 6 amend HB reg 16 (applicable amounts) to now read that the applicable amount is reduced by the standard deduction, rather than reduced to the standard deduction.
    I still think the handbook is wrong and the law looks pretty clear to me so I don’t think I have misread anything. In the majority of cases it will be academic anyway as most will fail the temporary absence test and no longer qualify for HB/CTB after 52 weeks hospitalisation anyway.

    chris harvey

    Discovered the answer to my query. I had failed to spot that the HB/CTB regs for Pension Credit had been amended by SI 1195/2003 to now read that the downrating is “equal to … the standard deduction”. So the Pension Credit guide was right and in my mind I had got it completely wrong. Oh well thats what Pension Credit does to your brains. Time to take some leave I think.

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