Pensioners have just a few days left to check whether they are eligible for Pension Credit if they don’t want to miss out on a £301 payment to help with the cost of living.
Those who successfully apply for Pension Credit by May 19 should receive the latest cost of living payment from the government straight into their bank accounts. Cost of living payments will be worth up to £900 this financial year.
Laura Trott, Minister for Pensions, said: “Pension Credit can make a real difference and I am determined to make sure this support – worth an average of £3,500 a year – is reaching everyone who needs it, particularly as we know how much pressure households across the country have been under.
“Please check if you or your loved ones can claim for this extra support, and if you do it by 19 May you could qualify for the £309 cost of living payment – giving another financial boost to those who need it most.”
Here, we explain how Pension Credit works, how much support it can provide you with, and who qualifies.
What is Pension Credit?
Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit which is payable to people of State Pension age who are on a low income. You don’t need to be receiving a State Pension to claim Pension Credit.
If you qualify for Pension Credit, it will top your weekly income up to at least £201.50 if you’re single, and £306.85 for couples. You may get more if you have disability or caring responsibilities.
Provide a claim is made before 19 May, Pension Credit can be backdated for up to three months, as long as you were also eligible to receive it during that period.
Pension Credit can also give you access to several other benefits. These may include help with Council Tax, NHS dental costs and heating bills. If you’re aged 75 or over and receive Pension Credit, you’ll also be eligible for a free TV licence. All over-75s used to qualify for a free licence, but since August 2020, only households receiving Pension Credit can claim for one.
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Alice Guy, head of pensions and savings at interactive investor, said: “It’s a huge worry that around 850,000 pensioners are entitled to Pension Credit and aren’t currently claiming. They are potentially living hand to mouth and struggling in poverty when there is help available.
“The onus is on us all to speak to elderly relatives and make sure they’re claiming everything they are entitled to. Many poorer pensioners have spent years caring for loved ones or living with a disability and not managed to build up enough National Insurance credits to get a full State pension.
If you think you or someone you know maybe eligible for pension credit, you can check and claim online, or by telephoning 0800 99 1234.