Pensioners urged to check Pension Credit eligibility – you could qualify for one-off £325
Pension Credit: Expert discusses those not claiming benefit
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On Wednesday, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) called on pensions in the UK to check their eligibility to claim Pension Credits. The call was part of its national campaign Pension Credit Day of Action, which aims to educate pensioners about the support and what they are entitled to. The DWP stated that 850,000 people are eligible to claim but are not doing so. This means they are missing out on extra financial help and additional discounts worth around £3,300 a year.
Older people who sign up for Pension Credits and are successful will also be eligible for the second part of the £650 Cost of Living Payment and will receive a payment of £325.
The cut off date to sign up for Pension Credits to be able to receive the first payment was 25 May. The first payment will be paid on 14 July.
The Government has not yet announced a cut off date for the second which is to be paid in Autum and no official date for the payment has been confirmed.
Royal London’s consumer finance specialist, Sarah Pennells says that pensioners should act now and claim their Pension Credit before a date for the cut-off is announced.
Ms Pennells said: “Last month, the Government promised extra help with the cost of living, including payment of £650 this year for people on Pension Credit, paid in two instalments.
“You had to have started your claim for Pension Credit by 25th May to get the first payment of £325, but the Government hasn’t yet announced the cut-off date for the second payment, so you could still qualify if you make your Pension Credit claim.”
Pension Credit gives people extra money to help with living costs and those who are eligible need to be of state pension age, which is 66 years old, and have a total weekly income of around £200.
The credit tops up a person’s income to a minimum of £182.60 per week for single pensioners or £278.70 for couples.
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There isn’t a savings limit for Pension Credit, but if you have more than £10,000 this will affect how much you receive.
People receiving any amount of Pension Credit can also get help with other costs including rent through Housing Benefits or mortgage interest support if they own the property they live in, Council Tax, and heating.
Other support that can be claimed is help with NHS dental treatment, glasses and transport costs for hospital appointments.
Those over 75 also qualify for a free TV licence.
The DWP stated that 1.4 million people currently claim the financial support in the UK.
MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis also come out on Wednesday urging pensioners to claim the benefit describing the underclaiming as a “national tragedy”.
In his weekly newsletter, Mr Lewis said: “It’s not often I agree to team up with the Government on a campaign, but I was happy to offer assistance for this one, as it’s a national tragedy that getting on for a million pensioners, many of whom have been paying into the system for years, are missing out on a major income boost.”
“I’m not saying everyone will get it, but many will, and it is absolutely worth five minutes to check. And don’t worry, the worst that can happen is they say no. So don’t stall, just call.”
To see if they’re eligible, people can call the DWP between 8am and 6pm on a weekday or they can use the Government’s online calculator took.
To use the calculator, a person will need their National Insurance number, bank account details, and information about their income, savings and investments.
They will also need information about their pension if they have one, and details on their housing costs such as a mortgage, interest payments, and service charges.
They will also need information about their partner if they have one.
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