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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70179
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My sister was born in the UK but has been living and working

Customer Question

My sister was born in the UK but has been living and working in the US for 25 years. She is divorced and wishes to return to UK to live. She is 62 years old. She will receive her State Pension in January 2016 (20 years worth and not 30 years worth of NI contributions). She has a Midland Bank Pension of £250 per month. She has £20,000 from her divorce settlement. She has been told that she will raise £20,000 from the sale of her house in the US. I roughly calculated that with interest on the £40,000 if she puts this amount into a savings account, plus her pensions, she will get about £175 per week. She wants to work but thinks her age will go against her. She has worked as a counter cashier for banks all her life. She wants to rent a small apartment in Gravesend, Kent but the rents are high. Will my sister be entitled to any benefits (a) if she rents a flat and (b) having savings and two pensions. I have tried a benefit calculator suggested to me by the Citizens Advice Bureau.  However, I came to a halt because it was asking questions about percentages of Council Tax and Local Authority Housing Allowance.  My sister does not yet receive these since she is still living in US.  I wish to know whether on the figures I have given you whether she would be entitled to things like Housing Benefit/Pension Credit etc, bearing in mind she may eventually receive discounts on the Council Tax and may or may not receive a Local Authority Housing Allowance.

Thanks.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
I am sorry but it will.
Housing benefit is a means tested benefit. You do not get it if you have more than £16k. It will also be reduced if you have between £5k - £16k.
Similarly pension credit is means tested and will be refused if you have £40k in capital.
She will be able to claim when her capital is used up but in the meantime she will not.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I suppose £175 per week is more than What some people get either through working or on benefit. I told my sister that this was a long shot. She works full time in US and with her two pensions she could afford to work part time. She pays I to a US social security scheme whIch by the time she is 70 will pay her $1700 per month. Ihave told her she will be much better off in the US! Thanks for your advice.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
All the best.