MoneyMagpie want to urge you to please check in on your elderly relatives and people who may need help with this as if they miss out it will be catastrophic for some this winter.
Commenting on the deadline, set by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), to apply for Pension Credit and still qualify for the first cost of living payment of £326, Sarah Pennells, consumer finance specialist at Royal London says:
“Pension Credit is a highly valuable benefit, especially during the cost of living crisis, yet approximately one in three people who are entitled to receive it, don’t currently claim it, missing out on an estimated £1.7 billion of benefits.
“Not only does it top up the income of people who aren’t entitled to the full State Pension, but – crucially – because it’s a ‘gateway’ benefit, it unlocks additional benefits. These include help with rent and Council Tax, the Warm Home Discount and the cost of living payment. In all, Pension Credit can be worth over £3,300 a year, which could make a huge difference to someone’s finances.
“With energy bills due to rise sharply for millions of pensioners on 1st October, it’s more important than ever that people who have reached State Pension age, and think they may qualify, apply for Pension Credit.
“If you apply by 18th August and you are successful, your application can be backdated, so you’ll receive the first cost of living payment worth £326, which the government has already started paying to existing claimants.”
Top tips on maximising your benefits
- Pension Credit tops up your weekly income to £182.60 if you’re a single pensioner and £278.70 if you have a partner. The full State Pension for people who reached State Pension age after 5th April 2016 is £185.15 a week, so Pension Credit is aimed at people who aren’t entitled to the full State Pension amount.
- If you have a severe disability, you could get another £69.40 a week and if you care for another adult, you could get an additional £38.85 a week. However, you will only be awarded Pension Credit as a carer if you’re eligible for one of a list of benefits, including Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance.
- Pension Credit entitles you to help with energy bills, rent and other costs, as well as a free TV licence if you’re 75 or over.
- You can only receive Pension Credit once you reach State Pension age, currently 66, but you can apply for it up to four months before.
- You can apply for Pension Credit online at the Gov.uk website (Pension Credit: How to claim – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)), by phone on 0800 99 1234 and by post. If you need help applying, contact Citizens Advice or Age UK.