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Pensioners miss out on extra cash

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12/03/2008

An estimated 40% of pensioners qualifying for extra support are not claiming their full pension credit entitlement, according to Citizens Advice.

Those pensioners who qualify for the state pension credit – a system which tops up the official state pension of £87.30 a week but have not claimed their extra cash, missed out on £2.5bn unclaimed in the financial year 2005/06.

According to Citizens Advice, many pensioners are unaware that they qualify for extra support, while some are daunted by the prospect of making a claim. Pensioners eligible for the pension credit scheme could increase their income to £119.05 a week for a single person or £181.70 per week for a couple.

Citizens Advice said another incentive for pensioners to claim now is that it is currently possible to backdate extra payments for up to a year. Pensioners could also save money by checking their eligibility for Council Tax benefits. Those who are eligible for a benefit could potentially have their bill paid in full.

Teresa Perchard, director of policy at Citizens Advice, said: “With higher council tax bills dropping through many people’s letterboxes on top of huge hikes in the price of gas, electricity and other household bills, many pensioners are finding it increasingly hard to make ends meet. Yet billions of pounds that should be helping them is going unclaimed every year.

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