Martin Lewis provides clarification on pension credit payments
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Jeremy Hunt announced in his Autumn Statement that the state pension and benefits were to increase alongside September’s CPI figures from April next year. This means weekly payments of the state pension will rise to either £156.20 or £203.85, depending on the pension a person receives. One of the other benefits which will see a 10.1 percent increase is Pension Credit.
Next April, Pension Credit weekly payment rates will rise to £201 for a single person and £305.85 for a couple.
This is up £18.45 from £182.80 for single people and up £28.15 from £278 for couples.
In his statement to the House of Commons on Thursday, Mr Hunt said: “To support the poorest pensioners, I have decided to increase the Pension Credit by 10.1 percent.
“This is worth up to £1,470 for a couple and £960 for a single pensioner in our most vulnerable households.
“But the cost of living crisis is harming all pensioners so because we have taken difficult decisions elsewhere in this statement,
“I can today announce that we will fulfil our pledge to the country to protect the pensions Triple Lock.”
Mr Hunt also announced Further Cost of Living payments for low-income households and a £300 support payment to pensioner households.
Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown described the news as a “welcome surprise” for pensioners on low incomes.
She said: “After weeks of speculation about whether the triple lock would return next year many pensioners will be viewing today’s news with a sigh of relief.
“Soaring inflation has brought chaos to people’s finances this year and a 10.1 percent increase along with the extra cost of living payments of £300 will be hugely welcome for pensioners struggling to keep up with their bills.
“The decision to uprate Pension Credit by 10.1 percent comes as a welcome surprise and will boost the income of single pensioners to around £201.
“Pension Credit can make an enormous difference and acts as a valuable gateway to other benefits. However, not enough people are claiming it and more needs to be done to make sure that those who need it get it.”
Ms Morrissey noted it was “also worth saying” that the increases will only come into effect from April next year which means many face a tough winter ahead.
She added: “The Chancellor has been forthright in saying that times will be difficult for everyone.”
Those who are of the state pension age, currently 66 years, and on a low income may be able to receive Pension Credit, which provides them with extra money to help with living costs.
Pension Credit is also one of the benefits which entitles someone to claim the £650 Cost of Living support payment.
Although it is too late to claim the £326 July Cost Of Living payment, the DWP recently confirmed that it is not too late for older people to make a new claim for Pension Credit and qualify for the second means-tested cost of living payment, worth £324.
For someone to be eligible, they must have been entitled to a payment of Pension Credit on or before the qualifying date of September 25, 2022.
As Pension Credit can be backdated by three months, Britons can put in a claim and therefore qualify for the £324 payment.
The DWP has urged people to put in a claim as soon as possible and reported that the last date on which a person can put in a claim and successfully backdate it is December 18, 2022.
The DWP explained: “People do not have to do anything extra to backdate their claim. If they make their application online, they will automatically be asked about backdating, and if they make their application over the phone the adviser will talk them through this.”
People can check their eligibility for Pension Credit using the online calculator or by calling the Pension Credit helpline on 0800 99 1234.
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