According to the latest government figures, no less than 850,000 pensioners cannot claim pension credit. Pension credit is a benefit that tops up your earnings to a decent level
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Hundreds of thousands of pensioners are being urged to check if they qualify for an additional £1,900-a-year pension top-up.
The latest government figures suggest that 850,000 people are not eligible for pension credit.
The Pension Credit is a benefit which supplements the income of retirees so that they have a decent standard of living.
It is also known as the ‘gateway’ benefit as it unlocks additional financial support for council tax, housing benefit, healthcare costs and a free TV license for over 75s.
In April the DWP said up to £1.7billion of available pension credit had gone unclaimed, reports the Daily recording.
That’s around £1,900 per year on average, but taking into account additional discounts or reductions, it can be worth up to £3,300 per year.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced a ‘day of action’ this month which will aim to encourage people to check their eligibility for pension credit.
The ‘Pension Credit Day of Action’ will take place on Wednesday June 15 – but before that, check below to see if you qualify for the benefit.
What is Pension Credit?
Pension Credit gives you extra money to supplement your retirement income and is separate from your state pension.
It consists of two parts and you may be eligible for one or both elements, depending on your situation.
The Guarantee Credit element of the Pension Credit supplements your weekly income for:
- £182.60 if you are single
- £278.70 if you have a partner
If you reached statutory retirement age before 6 April 2016, you may be eligible for the savings credit element of the pension credit.
You could go up to:
- £14.48 if you are single
- £16.20 if you are a couple
You can get extra money if you have other responsibilities and expenses, such as high rent, a disability, or caring for someone.
For example, you could get an extra £69.40 a week if you claim certain invalidity benefits or an extra £38.85 a week if you get Carer’s Allowance.
If you are responsible for children or young people, you could receive an additional £56.35 per week for each person in your care.
This amount is increased to £66.85 per week for the first child if born before 6 April 2017.
If the child or young person is disabled, you can also get an additional £30.58 to £95.48 per week if they are on certain benefits.
You can view all additional top-ups and their prices on the Gov.uk website.
Other help if you have a pension credit
If you get a pension credit, you can also get other help, such as:
- Housing allowance if you rent the property in which you live
- Mortgage interest coverage if you own the property you live in
- A reduction in the housing tax
- A free TV license if you are 75 or older
- Help with NHS dental care, glasses and transport costs for hospital appointments
- Help with your heating costs with the Warm Home rebate program
- A discount on the Royal Mail redirect service if you move house
How to make a claim
One of the quickest ways to find out if you’re eligible and how much extra you could potentially receive each week is to use the Gov.uk Pension Credit Calculator.
You can submit your application up to four months before reaching the legal retirement age.
You can apply at any time after reaching statutory retirement age, but your application can only be backdated by three months.
This means you can get up to three months of pension credit on your first payment if you qualified during that time.
You will need:
Your national insurance number
Information about your income, savings and investments
Your bank details, if you apply by phone or by mail
If you are backdating your application, you will need details of your income, savings and investments as of the date you want your application to start.