‘Hugely underclaimed!’ Hundreds of thousands of pensioners missing out on pension boost

Rishi Sunak 'taking money out of our pensions' says economist

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Some 850,000 families could be missing out on the extra help, which could be vital in helping people meet the rising cost of living. The scheme helps individuals with their living costs if they are over state pension age and on a low income.

Claimants can get up to £182.60 a week if they are single or £278.70 for couples.

Higher payments are available for disabled people, carers, or those responsible for children or a young person.

Pensions experts have urged people to find out if they are eligible, as today is Pension Credit Day of Action.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Pension Credit boosts the income of the poorest pensioners and yet it remains woefully underclaimed.

“Today’s Government-backed day of action aims to raise awareness of Pension Credit which is vital in making sure more pensioners get the support they need, particularly during the current cost of living crisis.

“This is often because people don’t know what Pension Credit is and there are also several myths that need to be addressed as they stand in the way of people getting what they are entitled to.”

Pension Credit is separate from the state pension and can be claimed even if a person has other income, savings or is a homeowner.

People with £10,000 or less in savings and investments can claim the benefit without their claim being affected.

Ms Morrissey spoke about the other benefits of the scheme.

She said: “Another key reason to claim Pension Credit is that it acts as a valuable gateway to other benefits such as help with NHS costs such as glasses, and if you are over age 75 you can get a free TV licence.

“Over time the value of these extra benefits can really add up and have a huge impact on your standard of living.”

People on benefits such as Pension Credit will also get extra help with a £650 payment from the Government, to help meet rising costs of living.

An individual can find out if they are eligible for Pension Credit using the calculator on the Government website.

The calculator will also work out how much a person is entitled to.

Details that must be provided include the person’s income, including any earnings, benefits, pensions, savings and any details of a partner.

More information is also available by calling the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.

Residents can apply for Pension Credit up to four months before they hit state pension age.

Claims can also be made after reaching state pension age, but any income will only be backdated by three months.

DWP figures from February 2022 showed that there were 72,000 fewer recipients of normal Pension Credit against the previous year.

On top of the extra £650 payment, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed an additional £300 exclusively for pensioners to mitigate the damage of the current financial crisis.

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