Pension: Expert advises people to 'start sooner'
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Pension Credit can be claimed by state pensioners who are on a particularly low income. The state benefit will top up the income the claimant(s) is receiving and provide support for TV Licence claims when they reach a certain age.
Despite the support on offer however, the DWP has warned the majority of eligible recipients are failing to make a claim.
The DWP said: “Two in five eligible pensioners do not claim Pension Credit to help with living costs.
“If you know someone over state pension age, make sure they don’t miss out by telling them about it or helping them to apply online.”
To be eligible for Pension Credit, a claimant must be living in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached their state pension age before applying.
Claimants must also include their partner in their application if they have one.
A claimant will be eligible for Pension Credit if either they and their partner have both reached state pension age or, one of them is getting Housing Benefit for people over state pension age.
When applying for Pension Credit, a person’s income, along with their partners, is calculated.
Pension Credit will top up a person’s weekly income to £177.10 per week if they’re single.
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Joint weekly income will be topped up to £270.30 for partnered claimants.
The DWP will include income from a number of sources when calculating eligibility, which includes state pension payments and benefit income.
Where a person gets Pension Credit, they can also get boosted help through other benefits such as Housing Benefit and Support for Mortgage Interest.
Pension Credit payments can also be increased if the claimant has a severe disability, cares for another adult or is responsible for children or young people.
Additionally, Pension Credit claimants may also be eligible for a free TV Licence if they are over 75.
Those who are aged 75 years or older can get a free TV Licence if they, or their partner living at the same address, receive Pension Credit.
Pension Credit claimants can apply for a Free TV Licence from the age of 74 onwards.
Currently, a standard TV Licence costs £159 and this can be covered in a yearly payment or through monthly direct debits.
Claims for Pension Credit can be started up to four months before a person reaches their state pension age.
Applications can be made any time after reaching state pension age but they can only be backdated by up to three months.
Before applying, claimants will need to have certain information at the ready which includes a National Insurance number and information on their income levels.
Claims can be made online through the Government’s website, by phone or through the post.
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