Last day for thousands of couples in the UK to claim benefit worth £7,000 a year

New rules mean older people can no longer apply pension credits if their husband or wife is still of working age.

The guidelines, introduced in May , mean that if your partner is below the age of 65, you won't be able to apply for the Government top-up, which could amount to thousands of pounds extra year.

Instead, you need will now have to make a claim for Universal Credit to make up for any shortfall in your household income.

But there may be a way around the change that will affect thousands of mixed-age couples.

When the DWP made the announcement in May, it said it would allow a three month buffer for those who've yet to apply to make a claim.

This applies to those whose older partner reached state pension age – currently 65 – before the rules changed on 15 May .

These couples have until midnight on Thursday 13 August to put in a claim for Pension Credit or Housing Benefit before the opportunity is lost.

And it's worth the hassle – with the Government's own figures estimating the average household will lose £7,000 if they miss out.

Pension Credit is a weekly means-tested benefit to boost your income. It's based on how much money you have coming in – and is paid primarily to those on low incomes.

Some 1.6 million people claim pensions credit – two thirds of them women – with 1.9million people benefitting from it overall.

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