Your age and entitlement rules

Your age and entitlement rules

Age and Benefit Entitlement

Your age (and your partner's age) can affect your entitlement to benefits and tax credits.

If you are in a couple then, at the moment, which benefits you qualify for is determined by the age of the oldest person, e.g. a couple are deemed to be aged over 65 if the oldest person in the couple is 65 years old or over. However, under Universal Credit this rule will change so that, the age of the youngest person in the couple will decide which benefits they qualify for.

For more information on when you count as a couple see single or couple.

Please note that we can not estimate your entitlement if you are under 18 years old. If you are under 18 but your partner is older than 18 then you can still use the calculator to calculate Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and tax credits. In this case, enter that the younger one is aged 18. Note though that the result may not be accurate for other benefits where different rates of benefit may apply if you have a partner aged under 18.

Some of the rules about benefit eligibility and age are described below.

Pension Credit

Pension Credit has two elements - a Guarantee Credit and a Savings Credit. The Savings Credit element is only payable to people aged 65 or over (or in couples, where one person is aged 65 or over) and reached retirement age before April 2016. The Guarantee Credit element is available to people classified as being older than working age (or in couples, where one person is older than working age). Until April 2010 working age means-tested benefits were payable until age 59 and all people aged 60 or over were eligible for the Pension Credit Guarantee Credit element. However, since April 2010 retirement age for women is going up gradually to 65, so for both men and women the minimum age for the Guarantee Credit element is also increasing in stages to 65. For more information see changes to state pension age.

Income Support/Jobseeker’s Allowance/Employment and Support Allowance

The rates at which these benefits are paid differs according to age and circumstances and can be less for those aged under 25. Please note that this calculator cannot work out entitlement to IS/JSA/ESA for 16-17 year olds.

Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit

The personal allowance for Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit varies according to age and circumstances, and can be less for those aged under 25. Please note that this calculator cannot work out entitlement to Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit for 16-17 year olds.

Tax credits

If you are aged 16 - 25 you will need to be responsible for at least one child or have a disability to be eligible for tax credits. 

If you do not have a child or a disability you must be aged 25 or over to be eligible for tax credits. In a couple, one or both of you must be aged 25 or over (it is the age of the eldest member of the couple that determines entitlement). For more information see Working Tax Credit.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is payable to people who are of working age. This usually means people between the ages of 18 Pension Credit qualifying age. Although the lower age limit may be 16 or 17 years old in some limited circumstances.


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