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Are you or a loved one missing out on pension credit?

by Guy Murphy

Are you or a loved one missing out on pension credit?

The Department for Work and Pensions recently revealed that although 1.4 million older people in Britain receive Pension Credit, many are still not claiming this extra financial help – with an estimated £1.7bn currently left unclaimed.

Many people mistakenly believe they cannot get Pension Credit but if you have reached State Pension Age and are on a low income you could be eligible.  There is an extra incentive to sign up now as if you were eligible for Pension Credit between 26th April and 25th May 2022 you may receive the Governments £650 Cost of Living Payment.

Pension Credit can be backdated for 3 months meaning if you apply now, it will cover the eligibility period for the Cost-of-Living payment.

The DWP has confirmed that you must be awarded your Pension Credit before the 25 August 2022 to be eligible for the Cost-of-Living payment. To ensure that all applications are processed in time, Knowsley residents are urged to apply ASAP.

What could I get?

Pension Credit tops your income up to a minimum of:

  • £182.60 a week if you are single
  • £278.70 a week if you are a couple

People over 65 who reached State Pension Age before 6 April 2016, could qualify for Pension Credit if their weekly income is below:

  • £218.80 if they are single
  • £319.20 if they are a couple

Qualifying for even a small amount of Pension Credit can mean help with other things like reduction in the amount of Council Tax they need to pay and those over 75 qualify for a free TV licence.

Pensioners can get Pension Credit even if they have savings. The first £10,000 of savings is ignored – so if someone has been previously turned down because of the amount of their savings, it’s worth another check.

How do I apply?

Use a free online calculator to see if you are eligible or apply, call the free Pension Credit Claim Line on 0800 99 1234 or visit www.gov.uk/pension-credit.

Cllr Jayne Aston, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “With the cost of living crisis impacting all Knowsley residents, it is really important that you know what you are entitled to.

“There are many households across Knowsley missing out on Pension Credit which could be used to help pay bills each month.

“If you, or a someone you know, has reached state pension age you should apply. Savings, pensions and home ownership don’t discount you if you are on a low income. Even if you’ve applied unsuccessfully in the past, you can reapply if your income has gone down.”

Know the facts about Pension Credit

False – The average Pension Credit payment is actually over £65 per week – that’s well over an extra £3,000 per year. Plus, getting Pension Credit can provide a passport to help with things like rent, council tax, Cold Weather Payments and a free TV licence for people aged 75 and over.

False – People can have savings or another pension and still get extra money. Unlike other income related benefits like Universal Credit, there is no capital cut-off limit and for Pension Credit savings of under £10,000 are ignored.

False – Homeowners can get Pension Credit too. In fact, almost half of the people who get Pension Credit own their own home.

False – People can claim as soon as they reach the qualifying age, which is now State Pension age.

False – you may be entitled to Pension Credit – even if they’re not entitled to a State Pension.

False – Personal circumstances could have changed and your income or capital may have changed as a result. The first £10,000 of savings will be ignored when working out if you can get Pension Credit.

False – you can claim with one simple free phone call. Even if someone only gets a small amount of Pension Credit, it can open the door to receiving other benefits and services like Cold Weather Payments and free dental treatment.

However, if you wish, you can fill out a paper claim form, which can now be downloaded from the GOV.UK website or an online claim can be made.

The Pension Service will also help you to claim other benefits (like Housing Benefit, which can help with paying rent) if you’re entitled to those as well.

However, you’ll need to contact their local council direct if they wish to apply for a reduction in their Council Tax.