Thousands of pensioners are missing out on £1,900 a year via DWP benefit – how to claim

State Pension: Expert outlines criteria to qualify

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Certain households could be eligible for Pension Credit, which is a supplementary benefit available through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). According to retirement specialists Just Group, around 850,000 eligible households are failing to claim this essential benefit which could give families an extra £1,900. With inflation and energy bills on the rise, many older households could use the extra money.

Specifically, Pension Credit is available to those of state pension age who are on low income. People can claim it even if they have other income, savings or their own property.

The payment tops up a claimant’s weekly income to £182.60 if they are single or increases their joint weekly income to £278.70 if they have a partner.

Furthermore, Pension Credit recipients could get an extra £69.40 if they have a severe disability and claim certain qualifying benefits.

These benefits include Attendance Allowance, the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), and the middle or highest rate from the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

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Stephen Lowe, the group communications director atJust Group, emphasised the importance of people eligible for the DWP benefit putting forward a claim for it.

Mr Lowe explained: “Pension Credit is designed to top-up the incomes of the poorest pensioners but a third of those entitled to claim – about 850,000 families – are failing to claim.

“There is up to £1.7billion of cash that is not being received, an average of around £1,900 a family.

“The human story to this is the hundreds of thousands of people who are struggling to make ends meet who may not realise financial help is available or do not know how to navigate the system.”

In April of this year, benefit payments including the state pension saw their rates hiked by 3.1 percent in line with inflation from last year.

However, with inflation sitting at nine percent at the moment and forecast to reach ten percent in the coming months, the state pension payment may not go far enough for some households.

Mr Lowe highlighted the good Pension Credit can do for those who are “struggling” for money.

He added: “Pensioners are facing a steep increase in inflation which could rise to over seven percent this year according to the Bank of England – that would outstrip by some margin the one-off ‘double lock’ state pension increase of 3.1 percent.

“As the cost of living crisis starts to bite, and with pensioners heavily impacted by rocketing energy bills, it is more important than ever that people who may be struggling for income are aware of the benefits available to them and how they can claim.”

Furthermore, the pension expert shared advice on how people can calculate how much they are missing out on when it comes to Pension Credit.

“There are a range of free resources to help people and families can use a variety of online resources to check if they suspect elderly relatives may be missing out on valuable help,” Mr Lowe said.

“The government website has links to useful third-party calculators (Benefits calculators) while other sources are Citizens Advice, local councils and charities.”

Those interested in putting in a claim for Pension Credit can begin their application up to four months before they reach the state pension age, which is 66.

Applications can be brought forward at any time but they will only be backdated by three months which means claimants could get three month’s worth of Pension Credit in their first payment.

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