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Are you missing out on Pension Credit?

Written by: Emma Lunn
Up to 850,000 people entitled to receive Pension Credit in 2020 failed to claim the benefit, missing out on an average £1,900 a year.

The figures come from DWP’s latest income-related benefit figures which found that a third of people that could receive Pension Credit weren’t doing so.

Figures estimate £1.7bn of Pension Credit remains unclaimed – about £1,900 per year for each household.

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit that tops up a pensioner’s weekly income if it’s below £177.10 for a single person or £270.30 for a couple. Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income.

You can qualify for more if you are already being paid Carer’s Allowance or Attendance Allowance.

Pension Credit claimants can also get help with council tax, NHS prescriptions and glasses as well as the potential for a free TV licence.

There are also up to 260,000 pensioners who could claim Housing Benefit but fail to do so. According to the figures about £1.1bn remains unclaimed which could boost household finances by up to £4,000 per year.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says: “Pension Credit take up continues to inch up but there are still up to 850,000 pensioner households missing out on this vital benefit. Pension Credit boosts the income of the poorest pensioners and acts as a valuable gateway to other benefits such as help with heating bills and NHS treatment.

“If you are aged over 75 you are also entitled to a free TV licence. It’s estimated each eligible household misses out on up to £1,900 per year by not claiming.

“The data also shows around a quarter of a million pensioners could be missing out on Housing Benefit which could potentially boost their income by £4,000 per year. These are enormous sums of money that could really boost people’s income in retirement, and it is vitally important that those who think they may be entitled to support check to see if they are entitled.”

Many people think they are not entitled to Pension Credit many because they own their own home or have some savings – but this isn’t the case.

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