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Social Security

This page was last updated on: 2021-09-18

Pension Rights

You will be able to claim the new State Pension if you are:

-        A man born on or after 6 April 1951

-        A woman born on or after 6 April 1953

The earliest you can get the new State Pension is when you reach State Pension age (the State Pension age is under review and may change in the future). You can check your State Pension age on the GOV UK website.

If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you will get the State Pension under the old rules instead.

You will usually need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any State Pension. They do not have to be 10 consecutive years. This means that for 10 years at least one or more of the following applied to you:

-        You were working and paid National Insurance contributions

-        You were getting National Insurance credits (e.g. you were unemployed, ill or a parent or carer)

-        You were paying voluntary National Insurance contributions

You do not have to stop working when you reach State Pension age but you will no longer have to pay National Insurance.

 

What you are entitled to

The full new State Pension is £159.55 per week. The actual amount depends on your National Insurance record.

The amount can be higher if you have over a certain amount of Additional State Pension or if you delay taking your State Pension.

 

How it will be paid

The new State Pension is usually paid every 4 weeks into an account of your choice. You are paid in arrears for the last 4 weeks, not the coming 4 weeks.

You should get your first payment within 5 weeks of reaching State Pension age.

 

How to get your State Pension

This will not happen automatically. You have to claim it. You will get a letter 4 month before your State Pension age explaining what to do. There are four ways to claim: online, over the phone, downloading the State Pension claim form and you can also claim from abroad

Dependents' / Survivors' Benefit

Bereavement Payment

You be able to get a £2,000 Bereavement Payment if your spouse or civil partner died before 6 April 2017. This is a one-off, tax-free, lump-sum payment. If your spouse or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017, you may be eligible for Bereavement Support Payment instead.

You may be able to get Bereavement Payment if, when your spouse or civil partner died, you were either:

-        Under State Pension age

-        Over State Pension age and your spouse or civil partner was not entitled to a State Pension based on their own national insurance contributions

Additionally, your spouse of civil partner must have either:

-        Paid enough National Insurance contributions

-        Died because of an industrial accident or disease

You cannot get Bereavement Payment if you were divorced, you’re living with another as a spouse or civil partner, or you are in prison.

You may also be eligible for Widowed Parent’s Allowance if you are bringing up children or Bereavement Allowance. You do not have to apply more than once, you will be considered for all bereavement benefits when you apply for one.

You can claim Bereavement Payment up to 12 months after the death. You should claim within 3 months if you are also claiming Widowed Parent’s Allowance or Bereavement Allowance.

Bereavement Allowance

You can get Bereavement Allowance up to 52 weeks from the date of the death. The amount you will receive depends on the overall level of National Insurance contributions from your spouse or civil partner and your age at the time of their death.

 

Your age at your spouse of civil partner’s death

Maximum weekly rate

45 years old

£34.11

46 years old

£42.07

47 years old

£50.03

48 years old

£57.99

49 years old

£65.95

50 years old

£73.91

51 years old

£81.86

52 years old

£89.82

53 years old

£97.78

54 years old

£105.71

55 years old to State Pension age

£113.70

You can make a claim by applying using a form or over the phone.

Widowed Parent’s’ Allowance

You may be entitled to Widowed Parent’s Allowance if all of the following apply:

-        Your spouse or civil partner died before 6 April 2017

-        You are under State Pension age

-        You are entitled to Child Benefit for at least one child and your late spouse or civil partner was their parent

-        Your late spouse or civil partner paid National Insurance contributions, or they died as a result of an industrial accident or disease

You may also claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance if you are pregnant and your husband has died, or you are pregnant after fertility treatment and your civil partner has died.

If your spouse or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017 you may be eligible for Bereavement Support Payment instead.

You cannot claim if you:

-        Were divorced from your husband, wife or civil partner when they died

-        Remarry or are living with another person as if you’re married to them or as if you’ve formed a civil partnership

-        Were over State Pension age when you were widowed or became a surviving civil partner – you may be able to get extra State Pension

-        Are in prison

The maximum Widowed Parent’s Allowance is £113.70 a week.

 

Incapacity Benefit

Incapacity Benefit is being replaced with Employment and Support Allowance. You will be reassessed if you are already claiming Incapacity Benefit to decide whether you are capable of work or eligible for Employment and Support Allowance.

 

Employment and Support Allowance

You can use the benefits calculator found on the GOV UK website before you apply.

If you are ill or disabled, Employment and Support Allowance offers you financial support if you are unable to work and personalised help so that you can work if you are able to.

You can apply for Employment and Support Allowance if you are employed, self-employed or unemployed.

Work Capability Assessment

This must be complete while your Employment and Support Allowance claim is being assessed. This will decide to what extent your illness or disability affects your ability to work.

Entitlement

You will normally get the assessment rate 13 weeks after your claim. This will be up to £57.90 a week if you are under 25, and up to £73.10 a week if you are over 25.

After that, if you are entitled to Employment and Support Allowance, you will be placed into one of two groups and will receive up to £73.10 a week if you are in the work-related activity group and up to £109.65 a week if you are in the support group.

If you are in the work-related activity group you must go to regular interviews with an advisor who can help with job goals and improving your skills. If you are in the support group you do not have to go to interviews but can ask to talk to a personal advisor. You will usually be in this group if your illness or disability severely limits what you can do.

There are two types of Employment and Support Allowance:

-        Contribution based Employment and Support Allowance

  • Usually you will get this if you have paid enough National Insurance Contributions

-        Income related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Usually you will get this on its own or on top of contribution based Employment and Support Allowance if you are on a low income

Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance

This lasts one year if you are in the work-related activity group. You may be able to re-apply at least 12 weeks after your contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance ends. You may qualify again depending on:

-        National Insurance contributions you paid in the last 2 full tax years before the tax year you are claiming in

-        Whether your health deteriorates and you are placed in the support group

There is no time limit on how long you can claim contribution based Employment and Support Allowance if you are in the support group.

‘New Style Employment and Support Allowance

You can apply for this if you are entitled to apply for Universal Credit. You are entitled if you are either a single person anywhere in England, Wales and Scotland or a couple or family living in a Universal Credit area.

The new style Employment and Support Allowance works in the same way as contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance. Your partners income and savings will not affect how much you are paid.

You can get Employment and Support Allowance on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit. If you get both at the same time your new style Employment and Support Allowance will be deduced from your Universal Credit payment, you are not guaranteed to get any extra money.

Income related Employment and Support Allowance

You may qualify for income related Employment and Support Allowance if you no longer qualify for contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance. How much you get depends on your circumstances. There is no time limit on income related Employment and Support Allowance. You cannot get income related Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit at the same time.

Eligibility

You may get Employment and Support Allowance if your illness or disability affects your ability to work and you are under State Pension age, not getting Statutory Sick pay or Statutory Maternity Pay and you have not gone back to work and you are not getting Jobseeker’s Allowance.

You can apply for ESA if you are employed, self-employed, unemployed or a student living on Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

You may still be able to work and claim Employment and Support Allowance. It depends on how much you’ll get paid and the hours you do.

Your income and savings may affect your income related or contribution based Employment and Support Allowance. Income can include:

-        You and your partners income

-        Savings over £6,000

-        Pension income

You will not qualify for income related Employment and Support Allowance if you have savings over £16,000.

Making a Claim

You will need:

-        National Insurance number

-        Medial certificate

-        GP’s address and phone number

-        Home and mobile telephone numbers

-        Mortgage or landlord details

-        Council tax bill

-        Employer’s address and telephone number and dates of employment or last day worked

-        Bank account details

-        Details of any other money you are getting, such as benefits or sick pay

 

Invalidity Benefit

Employment and Support Allowance has replaced the Incapacity Benefit and Income Support that is paid because of an illness or disability for new claimants from 27 October 2008. Employment and Support Allowance consists of two phases 1) the assessment phase rate is paid for the first 13 weeks of a claim while a decision is made on capability for work through the Work Capability Assessment (£56.80 for persons under 25 years and £71.70 for persons 25 years and over) 2) the main phase starts from week 14 of the claim, if the Work Capability Assessment shows that the illness or disability does limit ability to work. There are two groups within the main phase 1) Work Related Activity Group (paid at the weekly rate of £100.15) in which the worker is expected to take part in work focused interviews with a personal adviser. The workers get support to help prepare for suitable work. 2) Support Group (paid at the weekly rate of £106.50) in case when illness or disability has a severe effect on worker's ability to work. The contribution based benefit lasts one year for workers in work related activity group and a benefit cap also applies.

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