Pensioners: Social Security Benefits

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Jennifer Willott Jennifer Willott Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(1) what estimate his Department has made of the average amount unclaimed by single pensioners of each sex aged 85 years or over entitled to but not claiming (a) guarantee credit and council tax benefit, (b) guarantee credit and housing benefit or local housing allowance and (c) guarantee credit, housing benefit or local housing allowance and council tax benefit in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement;

(2) what estimate his Department has made of the average amount unclaimed by pensioner couples where one or both were aged 85 years or over, who were entitled to but not claiming (a) guarantee credit and council tax benefit, (b) guarantee credit and housing benefit/local housing allowance and (c) guarantee credit, housing benefit/local housing allowance and council tax benefit in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what estimates his Department has made of the average amount unclaimed by single pensioners aged 60 to 75 years or over who were entitled to but not claiming (a) guarantee credit and council tax benefit, (b) guarantee credit and housing benefit/local housing allowance and (c) guarantee credit, housing benefit/local housing allowance and council tax benefit, broken down by sex, in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement;

(4) what estimates the Department has made of the average amount unclaimed by pensioner couples, where one or both are aged 60 to 75 years old, who are entitled to, but not claiming (a) guarantee credit and council tax benefit, (b) guarantee credit and housing benefit/local housing allowance and (c) guarantee credit, housing benefit/local housing allowance and council tax benefit in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement;

(5) what recent estimates the Department has made of the average amount unclaimed by pensioner couples, where one or both are aged 75 to 85 years old, who are entitled to but not claiming (a) guarantee credit and council tax benefit, (b) guarantee credit and housing benefit/local housing allowance and (c) guarantee credit, housing benefit/local housing allowance and council tax benefit in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State (Pension Reform), Department for Work and Pensions

Estimates of the average unclaimed weekly amounts of means-tested benefits in Great Britain, covering income support, pension credit, housing benefit, council tax benefit and jobseeker's allowance (income based) are published in the report 'Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2006-07'.

The following table presents average unclaimed weekly amounts of guarantee credit and council tax benefit among pensioners who are entitled to but not receiving both benefits. The amounts are presented for the different family types identified in the question and for each complete financial year since the introduction of pension credit. The amounts for each year are presented in the prices for that year and are rounded to the nearest 10 pence. These estimates are based on survey data and so will be subject to some sampling variation.

Sample sizes are too small to yield reliable results for the groups identified in the other parts of the question. We are therefore unable to provide estimates for those entitled to but not claiming guarantee credit and housing benefit as identified in part (b) of each question. Similarly we cannot provide estimates for those entitled to but not claiming guarantee credit and housing benefit and council tax benefit as identified in part (c) each time.

Average weekly unclaimed amount of GC and CTB
£
2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Single male pensioners aged 85 or over (1) (1) (1) (1)
Single female pensioners aged 85 or over (1) 45.20 50.50 47.40
Pensioner couples where one or more is aged 85 or over (1) (1) (1) (1)
Single male pensioners aged 75 to 84 (1) (1) (1) (1)
Single female pensioners aged 75 to 84 44.80 40.30 42.40 47.90
Pensioner couples where one or more is aged 75 to 84 (1) 54.50 51.70 55.90
Single male pensioners aged 60 to 74 (1) 59.00 63.60 67.20
Single female pensioners aged 60 to 74 37.10 41.20 53.00 52.10
Pensioner couples where one or more is aged 60 to 74 58.00 63.80 71.40 72.60
(1) Sample sizes for the group in question are too small to yield reliable results.

Note:

Some couples are included in more than one of the specified family types. For example where a 61-year-old is married to a 76-year-old, this couple is counted both as a 'couple where one more is aged 60 to 74' and as a 'couple where one or more is aged 75 to 84'.

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