State pensioners missing out on yearly boost worth thousands – check eligibility

Pension Credit can be worth over £3,500 per year on average for people over state pension age and on a low income – and it can lead to further support.

The benefit tops up a person’s income to a minimum of £201.05 per week for single pensioners and to £306.85 for couples – or more if a person has a disability or caring responsibilities.

‌Even a small Pension Credit award can open doors to other benefits – including help with housing costs, council tax, heating bills, as well as up to £600 in extra Cost of Living payments later this year too. This follows the biggest increase to the state pension in history this year at 10.1 percent.

The DWP estimates that 850,000 pensioner households may be entitled to an average annual income boost of around £3,500.

However, people do not claim it as they wrongly believe that because they have savings or own their own home they would not be eligible for Pension Credit.

When people apply for Pension Credit, their income is calculated. If someone has a partner, their income is calculated together.

Pension Credit tops up:

· their weekly income to £201.05 if they’re single

· their joint weekly income to £306.85 if they have a partner

If someone’s income is higher, they might still be eligible for Pension Credit if they have a disability, they care for someone, they have savings or they have housing costs.

What counts as income

income includes:

· State pension

· other pensions

· earnings from employment and self-employment

· most social security benefits, for example, Carer’s Allowance

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched the “Invitation to Claim” trial to target those likely to be eligible for Pension Credit.

‌These are individuals above state pension age and in receipt of Housing Benefit.

Commenting on the new DWP trial Katharine Photiou at Legal & General said: “It is great to see the DWP turning words into action by helping more pensioners claim Pension Credit through this new trial.

“Currently, one in three pensioners who could get Pension Credit are not claiming it. But this extra financial help can be worth over £3,300 a year and is there to support people over State Pension age and on a low income with their daily living costs, housing costs and heating bills.

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“If you qualify you might also be entitled to help with NHS costs, mortgage interest and council tax payments too. Making people aware of their allowances has always been important, but against the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis, it is now critical.”

‌Pension Credit can be claimed by phone and online, ensuring that older people can apply safely and easily, wherever they are.

‌The online Pension Credit calculator is also on hand to help pensioners check if they’re likely to be eligible and get an estimate of what they may receive.

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