Pension Credit is a benefit payment administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Older Britons who are of the state pension age, which is 66, are eligible to apply for this support. Recently, the DWP made a conscious effort to promote this benefit payment on Pension Credit Day of Action (June 15).
For claimants who are single and claiming Pension Credit, their weekly income is topped up to £182.60.
In the case of couples, they will see their joint weekly income increased to £278.70 when they claim Pension Credit.
While the most a couple can claim for the benefit is around £278, there are additional top-up payments to those who are in certain vulnerable groups.
These groups include people who are unpaid carers, disabled or who are responsible for looking after a young person.
People who want to apply for Pension Credit can start their claim up to four months before they turn 66.
After reaching the state pension age, they are able to apply for the DWP benefit at any time, however their claim will only be backdated by three months.
During the application process, future Pension Credit claimants will need to provide their National Insurance number, information about their finances and bank account details to the DWP.
Applications can be made through the Government’s website. Alternatively, people who need more information on claiming Pension Credit can call the specialised helpline for applicants on 0800 99 1234.
Praising the DWP’s effort to promote the benefit payment, Caroline Abrahams, the charity director at Age UK, said: “There are so many good reasons to put in a claim for Pension Credit.
“Many older people are reliant on the state pension as their main source of income and just don’t have the flex in their finances to cope with the escalating cost of living.
“Putting in a successful claim could not only give a significant boost to your weekly income, it also opens the door to a wealth of extra support including help with energy bills.
“We know that around three quarters of a million pensioners are missing out on this important benefit at the moment, so we are urging anyone who is experiencing any financial issues whatsoever to put in a claim without delay.
“The sooner people act, the sooner they will find out if they are eligible for some of the additional financial help that is now available which could have a life-changing impact on their finances over the coming months.”
Emma Byron, the managing director for Legal & General Retirement Solutions, added: “One in three pensioners who could get Pension Credit are not claiming it.
“The bottom line for people in retirement is paying for the basics, such as gas and electricity, and this weekly benefit means vital extra cash to help with day-to-day costs.
“If you qualify you might also be entitled to cold weather payments, housing benefit, and help with NHS costs, mortgage interest and council tax payments too.
“In a cost of living crisis this is a benefit that people need to know about, and it’s why we support the Department for Work and Pensions campaign to boost awareness of it.”