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Overlapping benefits

Overlapping benefits

You may be affected by overlapping benefit rules. These rules mean you may be entitled to two or more benefits but cannot be paid both of them in full.

For example, a person entitled to Carer's Allowance and to £20 Retirement Pension would get their Retirement Pension in full but their £62.70 Carer's Allowance would be reduced by £20, so they would actually receive £42.70 in Carer's Allowance.

Overlapping benefits split into contributory and non-contributory benefits.

Contributory benefits:

  • State Retirement Pension
  • Contribution based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Contribution based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Widowed Mother's/Parent's Allowance
  • Widow's Pension

Non-contributory benefits:

  • Carer's Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance

Where someone is entitled to more than one of the above benefits the following rules apply:

a) A contributory benefit is paid in preference to a non-contributory benefit. This is topped up by any balance of the non-contributory benefit that may remain.

b) The highest rate of benefit is paid, if two of them are the same amount only one is paid.

If your partner claims one of these benefits and they get extra money for you because you are a dependant, you may also be affected by the 'overlapping benefits rule'. In some cases it is better for your partner to continue getting the dependant's addition, and in other cases it would be better if they gave this up so you can claim Carer's Allowance (this depends on which benefit would give you more money between you both). 

Incompatible benefits

In some cases people may be entitled to two or more benefits but cannot be paid both of them. These benefits are referred to as being incompatible. The following benefits are incompatible:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Retirement Pension
  • Contribution based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Contribution based Employment and Support Allowance

Constant Attendance Allowance

If you receive Constant Attendance Allowance as part of your award for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or as part of your War Pension then you can not also be paid Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance care component.

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