Pension Credit is a benefit payment administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Older Britons who are over the statutory retirement age of 66 can apply for this support. Recently, the DWP made a conscious effort to promote this benefit payment on the Pension Credit Day of Action (June 15).
For single claimants claiming pension credit, their weekly income is increased to £182.60.
In the case of couples, they will see their joint weekly income increased to £278.70 when claiming pension credit.
While the maximum a couple can claim for the benefit is around £278, there are additional top-up payments for those in certain vulnerable groups.
These groups include people who are unpaid carers, people with disabilities or who are responsible for caring for a young person.
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People who want to claim a pension credit can start their claim up to four months before they turn 66.
After reaching the statutory retirement age, they can apply for the DWP benefit at any time, but their application will only be backdated by three months.
During the application process, prospective pension credit applicants will be required to provide their National Insurance Number, financial information and bank details to the DWP.
Applications can be made through the government website. Alternatively, people who need more information about applying for Pension Credit can call the specialist Claims Helpline on 0800 99 1234.
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Praising the DWP’s efforts to promote the payment of benefits, Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK, said: ‘There are so many good reasons to apply for Pension Credit.
“Many older people depend on the state pension as their main source of income and simply don’t have the financial flexibility to cope with the rising cost of living.
“Submitting a successful claim could not only give a significant boost to your weekly income, but it also opens the door to a host of additional supports, including help with energy bills.
“We know that around three-quarters of a million pensioners are not receiving this important benefit at the moment, so we urge anyone who is having financial trouble to file a claim without delay.
“The sooner people act, the sooner they will know if they are eligible for some of the additional financial assistance now available, which could have a huge impact on their finances over the coming months.”
Emma Byron, managing director of Legal & General Retirement Solutions, added: “One in three retirees who could get a pension credit are not claiming it.
“The main thing for people in retirement is to pay for basic needs, like gas and electricity, and this weekly benefit means vital extra cash to help with day-to-day expenses.
“If you qualify, you may also be eligible for cold weather payments, housing allowance and help with NHS costs, mortgage interest and council tax payments.
“In a cost of living crisis, this is a benefit people need to know about, and that’s why we are supporting the Department for Work and Pensions’ campaign to raise awareness of it.”