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Pension Credit: Could you or a relative be missing out on extra income?

by Jonathan Kearney

Over 5,500 households in Knowsley are eligible for Pension Credit but aren’t claiming for the benefit.

This amounts to an estimated £14m that could be coming into the borough every year.

As well as receiving a monthly income, Pension Credit entitles you to a range of other benefits, from a free TV licence (for over 75s) to help with rent and Council Tax.  You can also apply to United Utilities to cap your water bills.

Who is eligible?

You must have reached state pension age to apply for Pension Credit. If you have a partner you must have both reached state pension age or at least one of must be in receipt of Housing Benefit for people over state pension age.

You may still be eligible for Pension Credit even if you have savings, a private pension and own your own home.

What am I entitled to?

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit made up of two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income if it’s below £173.75 (for single people) or £265.20 (for couples). Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement, for example a pension.

You can use the Pension Credit Calculator to work out how much you may receive.

Cllr Jayne Aston, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “Around 7,000 households in Knowsley are successfully claiming Pension Credit but there are still thousands across the borough missing out on extra income. If you or a relative 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.”

How to apply

You should have your national insurance number and information of all your income to hand including savings, state pension, private pensions and income from earnings and investments. You can make a claim online or by calling 0800 99 1234.  A friend or family member can call if you cannot use the phone.