If we retire now, will we get any help with rent and household bills?

5 June 2014


My wife and I receive a total of £1,060 in pension payments each month. I am 66 and she is 65 and we both still work but plan to retire due to ill health. Would we be entitled to any benefits to cover rent, council tax or household bills if we stop work now? We have never claimed benefits, so are unsure what we can claim.


Billions of pounds go unclaimed in benefits and tax credits every year, so you’re quite right to wonder whether help might be available.

There is a range of different types of benefits and tax credits you might be entitled to. It is clear that Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support could all possibly be available to you - though you may find your pension income is a little high in order to claim some means-tested benefits.

Some benefits are based on the National Insurance contributions you have paid. These include contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or income-related Employment and Support Allowance and pensions. Other benefits and the new Universal Credit are means-tested and there are also limits on how much you are allowed to have in savings and still claim. Visit gov.uk/universal-credit for more information.