Income, Benefits & Pension Credit

NI Direct

Your income may affect how much Pension Credit you can get. Find out how your income may affect Pension Credit and how you can learn if you are missing out on benefits.

Income counted towards Pension Credit

When you apply for Pension Credit your income is calculated. If you have a partner, your income is calculated together. The term ‘partner’ refers to your husband, wife or civil partner, or the person you live with as if they were your husband, wife or civil partner.

Pension Credit tops up

  • your weekly income to £182.60 if you’re single
  • your joint weekly income to £278.70 if you have a partner

If your income is higher, you might still be eligible for Pension Credit if you have a disability, you care for someone, you have savings or you have housing costs.

What counts as income

Your income includes

  • State Pension 
  • other pensions
  • most social security benefits for example Carer's Allowance
  • earnings from employment and self-employment

Your savings and investments

  • If you have £10,000 or less in savings and investments this will not affect your Pension Credit
  • If you have more than £10,000, every £500 over £10,000 counts as £1 income a week. For example, if you have £11,000 in savings, this counts as £2 income a week

Private or workplace pension

If you're entitled to a private or workplace pension, the amount you'd expect to get is calculated as income from the date you were able to get it, if you had claimed it.

If you’ve deferred your pension

If you’re entitled to a personal or workplace pension and you have not claimed it yet, the amount you’d expect to get still counts as income.

If you’ve deferred your State Pension, the amount of State Pension you would get is counted as income. You cannot build up extra amounts for deferring your State Pension if you or your partner are getting Pension Credit.

Income not counted towards Pension Credit

Not all benefits are counted as income. For example, the following are not counted:

  • Adult Disability Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Christmas Bonus
  • Child Benefit
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • social fund payments like Winter Fuel Allowance
  • Housing Benefit

Further information is available at the links below, about the following benefits:

You can still get Pension Credit if you are living with your family. The Northern Ireland Pension Centre looks at your income, not theirs. You can still get Pension Credit if you own your own home: the home you live in does not count as ‘capital’.

Cost of Living Support Payment

A Cost of Living Support package has been put in place for 2022 that includes one-off payments to those on income related benefits, disabled claimants and pensioners. These payments are intended to provide support with the current rise in the cost of living.

You may be eligible for one, or more, of these Cost of Living Support Payments if you get or had started a claim for Income benefits and Pension Credit on 25 May 2022.

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