Check eligibility for Pension Credit as Week of Action kicks off

Minister for Pensions Laura Trott is today calling on pensioners to check if they are eligible for Pension Credit ahead of the launch of a new “Invitation to Claim” trial.

  • DWP joins forces with charities and broadcasters to encourage pensioners to check their eligibility and apply for Pension Credit.
  • Nearly 1.4 million pensioners in Britain receive Pension Credit, but many aren’t claiming this extra financial help.
  • To reach more pensioners, the DWP will be launching an “Invitation to Claim” mailing trial this summer
  • The average Pension Credit award is worth over £3,500 per year and it can open doors to other benefits.

Pension Credit is worth over £3,500 a year on average and is designed to help with daily living costs for people over State Pension age and on a low income, though you do not need to be in receipt of State Pension to receive it.

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.

Currently, nearly 1.4 million pensioners in Britain receive Pension Credit and take-up is at the highest level since 2010. However, many are still not claiming this extra financial help.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has also announced a forthcoming “Invitation to Claim” initiative which will see potentially eligible households who receive Housing Benefit across 10 local authorities in Britain sent letters encouraging them to apply for Pension Credit.

Minister for Pensions Laura Trott MBE:

“We recognise the challenges some pensioners will be facing with the cost of living which is why, alongside driving down inflation, promoting Pension Credit is a priority.

“During the Week of Action, we will be out and about spreading the word – and you can help too. Speak to your older loved ones about Pension Credit and get them to check if they could be eligible for this vital extra support, worth an average of £3,500 per year.”

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.

The Week of Action will see DWP joining forces with charities, stakeholders, broadcasters, and a whole range of partners to highlight the help available and encourage pensioners to check their eligibility and apply.

Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert:

“It’s a tragedy that up to a million low income pensioners who’ve paid into the system for years are missing out on what can be a crucial financial top up.

“And even those only due thruppence from it should still claim as Pension Credit is the key gateway benefit that opens the door to many other entitlements – including the remaining £600 cost of living support, council tax reductions, free TV licences (if age over 75) dental and optical support and more.

“Any single pensioner earning under roughly £220 a week, or pension couple earning under £320 should check online or call the pension credit helpline just in case you may be due.”

The DWP continues to work with stakeholders and others to raise awareness of Pension Credit, with a recent push for pensioners to apply before 19th May 2023 to receive the first £301 Cost of Living payment resulting in a 171% spike in claims over the two-week period before the deadline – over 20,000 claims.

During the Week of Action, the DWP and its partners will be tackling some of the myths that may stop people applying, such as how having savings, a pension or owning a home are not necessarily barriers to receiving Pension Credit.

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. Pension Credit can also be claimed by post.

Additional information

  • Up to an estimated 850,000 eligible households are not claiming Pension Credit, with up to £1.7 billion of available Pension Credit going unclaimed.
  • The online Pension Credit calculator helps people find if they’re eligible for Pension Credit and how much they could get. Further information, including on how to claim, can be found here: Pension Credit: Overview. People can also claim by phone on 0800 99 1234. For extra resources for stakeholders and businesses, the department has also produced a Stakeholder Toolkit

All State Pension recipients continue to receive reminders about Pension Credit in the post as part of the Department’s annual uprating communications.

  • The DWP’s “Invitation to Claim” trial this summer will involve DWP sending letters to household identified via Housing Benefit data as being most likely to be entitled to Pension Credit and encouraging pensioners to contact DWP and make a claim.

The ten following local areas have been selected to ensure a representative sample of urban, rural, regional and national areas:

  • Eastbourne
  • Teignbridge
  • Pendle
  • Charnwood
  • Vale of White Horse
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Craven
  • Harrow
  • Powys
  • West Lothian

PAYadvice.UK 12/6/2023

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