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The rules for couples who need to claim help with their rent have changed from 15 May 2019.

If you’re a couple where one of you has reached State Pension age and the other has not, then you’re a ‘mixed age couple’.

You can't usually make a new Housing Benefit claim as a couple until you've both reached pension age. Mixed age couples will normally have to claim Universal Credit instead.

If you're already getting Pension Credit or pension age Housing Benefit, you won’t be affected by the mixed age rules while you remain entitled to either benefit. But if you have a break in your claim or your circumstances change, then you may need to claim Universal Credit instead.

If you’re a mixed age couple and would have been eligible for Pension Credit or pension age Housing Benefit on or before 14 May 2019 but weren’t claiming it, the rules allow you to make a backdated claim for a maximum of three months. This means you have until 13 August 2019 to make a claim for pension age benefits. 

For Council Tax Support only, you're still classed as a ‘pension age couple’ if either of you has reached State Pension age. 

Read more about the new rules for mixed age couples on the Gov.uk website.

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