State Pension Credit victory for Law Centre client
This case concerns the valuation of capital for State Pension Credit purposes, where the former matrimonial home is occupied by the estranged spouse.
Our client had separated from his wife 30 years before. She had continued to live in the family home with their children who were now adults. He owned the property in his sole name. The mortgage was paid off and he did not charge her rent. She was in poor health and the house had fallen into poor repair.
When he claimed State Pension Credit, the Department for Social Development valued the property at £120,000 and reduced his State Pension Credit to a minimal level due to the notional income attributed to this. An appeal tribunal disallowed his appeal and he contacted the Law Centre.
We convinced the tribunal to set aside its decision on an error of law and represented at the remitted tribunal. The Department agreed to get a further valuation of his interest in the property, taking into consideration that his estranged wife resided there. The valuation came back at just over £9,000.
Our client has received more than £7,000 in arrears and his State Pension Credit has been increased to £110 per week.
While this type of case can be difficult to resolve, this is an example of how perseverance can succeed in the end.