Therese Coffey outlines the benefits of Pension Credit scheme
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Pensioners in need of financial support may be able to get some help by claiming Pension Credit. Pension Credit is a benefit paid by the Department for Work and Pensions to pensioners on a lower income.
How much is Pension Credit?
There are different forms of Pension Credit providing different levels of support.
The core element is known as Guarantee Credit.
Guarantee Credit tops up weekly income to:
- £177.10 for single pensioners
- £270.30 for couples
The other form of Pension Credit is called Savings Credit.
It provides a lower level of financial support for people who have a greater weekly income already.
Savings Credit pays out up to:
- £14.04 a week for single pensioners
- £15.71 for those in a couple
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Those who reached state pension age before April 6 2016 and who have saved some of their own money for retirement, such as a personal or workplace pension could claim Savings Credit.
On top of the weekly income supplement, Pension Credit may also grant claimants access to various other benefits. For this reason, it has often been dubbed a ‘gateway benefit’.
Pension Credit recipients may be entitled to the following benefits:
- Housing Benefit
- Support for Mortgage Interest
- Council Tax Reduction
- A free TV licence (over 75s)
- Help with NHS dental treatment, glasses and transport costs for hospital appointments
- Help with heating costs
Applicants will have their income assessed when they put in a claim for Pension Credit to see if they are eligible and how much they can get.
Those who have a partner must include them on the application as well.
For the sake of the calculation, income includes:
- State pension
- Other pensions
- Earnings from employment and self-employment
- Most social security benefits (such as Carer’s Allowance)
How to apply
Pensioners can apply for Pension Credit online via the Government website.
It is also possible to apply over the phone, by calling the claim line on 0800 99 1234. A family member can call on someone’s behalf if they cannot use the phone.
Alternatively, people can apply by post. To do this, they must print out and fill in a claim form or phone the claim line to request one, fill in the form and send it to the Pension Service.
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