Pensioners could be missing out on £177 a week – are you eligible?

Therese Coffey outlines the benefits of Pension Credit scheme

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Many people struggle to get by in retirement without the steady income they had become used to in their younger years. For pensioners who need some financial support, Pension Credit could provide the answer.

What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is a benefit available to people who have reached state pension age, currently 66 in the UK for both men and women.

It provides additional money each week for those who are on lower incomes, as well as opening the door for various other benefits.

This includes potential help with housing costs, as well as health related expenses.

How much is it?

In its basic form, Pension Credit tops up the income of single pensioners to £177.10 per week.

For couples, this amount increases to a combined £270.30.

If someone has too much income to be eligible for the top up, they may still be able to get some financial support through the Savings Credit element of Pension Credit.

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This could provide up to £14.04 in additional income per week for single pensioners, or £15.71 for people who have a partner.

There are also extra amounts available to people meeting certain criteria.

People who have a severe disability could get an additional £67.30 each week on top of their standard Pension Credit amount.

Those who provide care for another adult may be entitled to an extra £37.70 per week, if they get Carer’s Allowance or have claimed Carer’s Allowance but are not being paid because they already get another benefit paying a higher amount.

In addition, anyone who is responsible for a child or young person could get £54.60 in extra cash every week for each child they are caring for.

This increases to £65.10 a week for the first child cared for, providing they were born before April 6, 2017.

Eligibility

Applicants must be of state pension age and live in England, Scotland or Wales to qualify for Pension Credit.

Pension Credit is a means tested benefit, so applicants’ income will be assessed to determine whether they are eligible for it.

For the sake of this calculation, income includes the state pension, other pensions, earnings from employment and self-employment and most social security benefits.

Those who have a partner must include them on their application, and this could impact eligibility.

To qualify, both the applicant and their partner must have reached state pension age, or one of them must be receiving Housing Benefit for people over state pension age.

How to claim

Britons wishing to apply for Pension Credit can do so via the Government website, as well as by calling the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.

It is also possible to apply by post, after filling in a Pension Credit claim form which can be obtained by printing one out or calling the claim line to request one.

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