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Pensioner households miss out on £1,000 of state benefits

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
08/01/2018
More than a million pensioner homeowners fail to claim thousands of pounds in state benefits, research reveals.

Four in ten pensioner homeowners who are eligible for state support fail to claim any benefit. At the same time, two in ten are claiming but aren’t receiving the full entitlement, according to research from Just Group.

The financial services company said the average loss of income for each household stands at £1,103 for 2017, up from the £610 in 2016, £780 in 2015 and £708 recorded in 2014.

Based on its client data, Just said many pensioners fail to claim their full entitlement of the Guarantee Pension Credit which worth up to £8,286 a year for a single person and £12,352 for a couple.

One in three eligible for Guarantee Pension Credit failed to claim with an average loss of £3,431, though in one case it saw, the person missed out on £8,060 a year.

It found that Savings Pension Credit was the least likely benefit to be claimed at an average value of £275 a year.

Another area under the radar is Council Tax, with less than half eligible for a reduction are claiming, meaning they’re overpaying by an average of £491 a year.

It also estimates pensioner homeowners miss out on £1,000 a year made up of Universal Credit, DLA, AA, Jobseeker’s Allowance, industrial injury benefit and more.

Overall, the research found that one in four of those eligible were missing out on more than £1,000 a year and one in five were missing out on between £500 and £1,000 a year. Half of those eligible were missing out on at least one benefit and one in 10 were missing out on two benefits.

Stephen Lowe of Just Group, said: “At a time when many pensioners are struggling for income and inflation is rising, we have once again found far too many are missing out on state help.

“The figures make clear that in a complex system people are struggling to get to grips with what State Benefits they are entitled to. The shortfall can be thousands of pounds a year that would make a massive difference to people’s lives.

“It is possible that homeowners in particular may think limited support is available, although owning a property does not necessarily mean you have adequate income in retirement.”

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