Therese Coffey outlines the benefits of Pension Credit scheme
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By claiming Pension Credit, pensioners could increase their weekly income significantly, with the average recipient getting £3,000 a year, according to experts. Pension Credit is a benefit which is available to pensioners who are on lower incomes.
The core element of Pension Credit, which is Guarantee Credit, provides a weekly income top up, which could take someone’s income to:
- £177.10 if they are single
- £270.30 if they have a partner
It may be possible for people to get even greater support depending on their circumstances, as additional amounts can be paid to those who have other responsibilities and costs.
For example, those with a severe disability could get an extra £67.30 a week of Pension Credit if they get any of the following benefits:
- Attendance Allowance
- The middle or highest rate from the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- The daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
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Britons who care for another adult could get an extra £37.70 a week if:
- They get Carer’s Allowance
- They have claimed Carer’s Allowance but are not receiving it because they already get another benefit which pays a higher amount
If both partners have claimed or are getting Carer’s Allowance, they can both get this extra amount.
People who are responsible for children or young people could get an extra £54.60 a week for each child or young person they are responsible for.
This rises to £65.10 a week for the first child if they were born before April 6, 2017.
Claimants could also get an extra amount to help cover their housing costs, such as:
- Ground rent for leasehold properties
- Some service charges
- Charges for tents and site rents
There is a different form of Pension Credit, known as Savings Credit, which could be available to people who have too much income to claim Guarantee Credit.
It is only available to those who reached state pension age before April 6, 2016, and could pay up to £14.04 a week to single pensioners or £15.71 a week to those with a partner.
To determine someone’s eligibility for Pension Credit, they will have their income assessed. This also decides how much someone can get, if they are indeed eligible.
The state pension, other pensions, earnings from employment and self-employment and most social security benefits will count as income in the calculation.
How to apply
Pensioners can use the official Government website to apply for Pension Credit.
They can also apply by phone on 0800 99 1234 or by post.
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