Modifying AIF when [b]maintenance [/b]is received

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  • #20265
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I was wondering if anyone has had a case were a Pension Credit claimant is receiving maintenance, as we have just received one.

    We are looking at modifying the AIF and so far understand that the Child Benefit & Child Tax Credit needs to added. We also need to apply £15 disregard for maintenance that is received.

    However, what’s happens with the maintenance that is being received, we thought it should be treated as income and added to the AIF ❓

    I have confirmed with the Pension Service that they haven’t taken it into account so I looked at the PC hand book & Zebedee book for help.

    I can’t see where is clearly states that you do added it in, it says about adding in partner’s income which has not be included in PC calcualtion & non-dep’s income.

    Can anyone help ❓

    Thanks very much

    #2556
    chris harvey
    Participant

    Where the maintenance is in respect of a child it is not counted as income in the Pension credit rules, so thats why the PS have not included it. If the maintenance was not in respect of a child the PS would have counted it in full and you would have had to modify the AIF by deducting our £15 maintenance disregard. However as the maintenance is not counted in this particular case you need not add it back, only modify the AIF figure for the Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit.
    You may be interested to note that in non AIF cases our HB/CTB Pensioner regulations also stipulate that maintenance in respect of a child is totally disregarded and so the £15 disregard will not be relevant as the maintenance will not be counted at all.

    #2557
    chris harvey
    Participant

    Following on from my last post, Vicky has mailed me, querying the legal basis for disregarding maintenance payments received by pensioners in respect of children. Thought I would share my response with everyone so if I have got this wrong someone can tell me!

    Starting with the old familiar working age regulations we have in reg 19 the rule that the income of children is to be included with the claimants (subject to disregards) and reg 36(2) tells us that where the child’s capital exceeds £3000 we do not count the income of the child in with the claimants unless its maintenance where it is always counted as the claimants income. These rules have been construed to mean that maintenance payments are always counted as the claimants income (subject to the £15 disregard in appropriate cases).

    The pensioner version of the regs tell us in reg 19 that the income and capital of children is not to be counted as the claimants. There is no equivalent reg 36(2) forcing us to count maintenance as the claimants. Reg 25 -1 (m) defines maintenance to be counted and is very specific in defining it as “payments made towards the maintenance of the claimant by his spouse”. This infers that maintenance paid in respect of a child is not made to maintain the claimant.
    I know the DWP manuals are not law but the policy intention clearly follows my line of thinking because in the Pension Credit Handbook at paras 161 and 231 it tells us that income not defined in the legislation is not to be counted and this includes “payments in respect of children including maintenance”

    So that how I come to the conclusion that with pensioner claims we do not count maintenance payments made in respect of a child. Anyone disagree?

    #2558
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Chris is right. Pensioners income is limited to the list in HB&CTB SPC Reg 8 (see the substitute Reg 25). If you also check the DWP external questions log it explicitly states that maintenance for children does not count as income for pensioners.

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