DWP urges pensioners to claim extra £201 a week as thousands miss out

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is urging people to check their entitlement to Pension Credit. They have warned that many people could be missing out on payments that will soon be worth up to £201 each week.

On Friday, the Government tweeted that those who are over the state pension age and on a low income could be missing out by not checking their entitlement.

It comes after Age UK estimated that around a third (34 percent) of pensioners eligible to claim Pension Credit are missing out.

It is a tax-free payment for which those who have reached the state pension age, currently 66, and live in the UK may be eligible to get.

Income includes:

  • state pension
  • other pensions
  • earnings from employment and self-employment
  • most social security benefits, for example, Carer’s Allowance.

How much is Pension Credit

Currently, pensioners on a low income see their weekly income topped up to £182.60 if they are single.

If they have a partner, which includes spouses and civil partners, Pension Credit claimants get a joint weekly income boost of £278.70.

It works out at around £3,500 a year on average.

In April of this year, the majority of benefit payments from the DWP will see their rates raised by 10.1 percent.

This is in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate for September 2022 and will include Pension Credit.

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Once this rate hike is implemented, single claimants will see their weekly income topped up to £201.05.

Furthermore, couples who claim Pension Credit together shall receive a weekly sum of £306.85.

Older households on the new state pension will receive a rate rise which will take their annual payments to over £10,000 with the triple lock return.

How to apply for Pension Credit
People can start their application up to four months before they reach state pension age.

They can apply any time after they reach state pension age but their application can only be backdated by three months.

This means people can get up to three months of Pension Credit in their first payment if they were eligible during that time.

Claimants will need the following information about them and their partner if they have one:

  • National Insurance number
  • Information about any income, savings and investments they have
  • Information about income, savings and investments on the date they want to backdate their application to (usually three months ago or the date they reached state pension age)

Britons will also need their bank account details. Depending on how they apply, they may also be asked for their bank or building society name, sort code and account number. More information about the application process can be found on the Government website.

People may still be eligible for Pension Credit if they have not paid National Insurance contributions, have some savings or a small pension, live with their grown-up family, and/or own their own home.

The DWP announced that applications for the benefit specifically designed to help people of state pension age on a low income are up 73 percent compared with this time last year. They have previously said there are common misconceptions that may be putting people off applying for Pension Credit.

GOV.UK clarifies that people of state pension age may be entitled to Pension Credit even though they may have modest savings, or a retirement income or own their own home.

It adds: “An award of Pension Credit can provide access to a range of other benefits such as help with housing costs, council tax, heating bills and for those aged 75 or over, a free TV licence”.

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