DWP one-day warning to apply for ‘hugely underclaimed’ benefit to get extra £299 payment | Personal Finance | Finance


Britons are urged to check if they or their loved ones can apply for the DWP’s benefit to receive the final £299 .

Pension Credit, distributed by the Department for Work and Pensions (), tops up a person’s income to a minimum of £201.05 per week for single pensioners and to £306.85 for couples.

Due to Pension Credit backdating rules, which enable payments to be backdated for the previous three months, people who apply by March 5 will become eligible for the Government’s last £299 Cost of Living Payment.

This is because it would mean the person will have been eligible for Pension Credit during the specified time limit to receive the Cost of Living Payment (November 13, 2023, to December 12, 2023).

Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Time is running out for pensioners to claim Pension Credit and qualify for a £299 cost of living payment.

“These payments gave a huge boost to people’s stretched budgets last year, but the clock is ticking to qualify for the final payment. People have until March 5 to submit a claim for Pension Credit and if successful they will get this extra boost on top of the benefit.”

While Pension Credit plays an important role in topping up the incomes of the poorest pensioners, Ms Morrissey said it remains “hugely underclaimed” with only 63 percent of eligible families actually applying for it.

People can apply for Pension Credit if they have savings and own their own home. Claiming can also grant people access to claim benefits.

Ms Morrissey said: “On top of the income top-up and the cost-of-living payment, it opens the doorway to further support such as help with NHS costs, heating bills and council tax.

“For over 75s, there is also a free TV licence. Claiming today could have a huge impact on your standard of living in retirement so it’s really important to put in a claim if you think you or a loved one may be eligible.”

Who is eligible for Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is separate from the state pension and people can claim this even if they have other income, savings, or own their own home. People must be of state pension age (currently 66) or over and live in England, Scotland and Wales.

Applicants will have their current income calculated. If they have a partner, the couple’s income is calculated together.

Pension Credit tops up:

  • A person’s weekly income to £201.05 if they’re single
  • Joint weekly income to £306.85 if the claimant has a partner.

This means if a person currently receives less than those figures based on their circumstance, they may qualify for Pension Credit.

People can apply for Pension Credit over the phone, online, or by post. For anyone unsure about eligibility or how much they might get, the online Pension Credit calculator tool can help.

Pension Credit rates 2024/25

Pension Credit rates will increase by 6.7 percent in April 2024 in line with last September’s inflation rate. The new rates will top up:

  • A single person’s income to £218.15 a week (up from £201.05)
  • A couple’s weekly income to £332.95 (up from £306.85).

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