Reader Question: How can I hide inherited money and still get pension credit?

3 min Read Published: 13 Dec 2011

Get an answer to your financial question online Reader Question:

My 85 year old mother recieves attendance allowance and pension credit. She is about to recieve approx £2,000 from a will. The Department for Work (DWP) and Pensions asks that she declares any financial change of circumstances. How does she keep them from using this inherited money?

Iain

 

My response:

It is not advisable to try and hide anything from the DWP should your mother's circumstances change. This is technically classed as fraud and is illegal. However, attendance allowance is not a means tested benefit so the inheritance will have no bearing.

With regard to the pension credit  she has to inform the Pension Service if her situation changes.

But

If your mother receives Pension Credit and has been awarded an Assessed Income Period (which are usually 5 years long), she doesn't actually need to tell The Pension Service about changes to her:

  • savings and investments
  • occupational pensions
before the Assessed Income Period is up.

Plus if she has been awarded an Assessed Income Period, as she is aged over 80 it will not end automatically after 5 years and will only end if one of the following  circumstances apply:

  • she starts to be treated as a member of a couple
  • she stops being treated as a member of a couple
  • she goes permanently into a care home
  • she temporarily stops getting a pension or annuity, or the amount they get goes down temporarily and she asks for their Pension Credit to be recalculated
  • she is no longer entitled to Pension Credit.
So to sum up, it is likely that your mother would not have to declare the inheritance (assuming that she plans to keep it) at least not yet but call the Pension Credit helpline and discuss your mother's circumstances with them directly as they will be able to advise you fully. Telephone 0800 99 1234.

Best Wishes

 

Damien

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