Therese Coffey outlines the benefits of Pension Credit scheme
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Pension Credit is an important benefit payment to pensioners who could be financially vulnerable. But at present, individuals have to make an active claim in order to receive the support.
Campaigners have argued this process should be changed to automatically pay those who are eligible.
They have asserted many Britons are too embarrassed to claim Pension Credit, and are thus missing out on vital support.
The issue was raised in the most recent Work and Pensions select committee, which brings together a wide spectrum of MPs.
Politicians were warned about the rising cost of living crisis, which is also set to palpably impact pensioners this year.
Campaigners stated older people were making tough choices due to their finances being stretched to the limit.
Some had to choose whether to “put the heating on, boil the kettle, or to skip a meal.”
Unfortunately, there is a stigma surrounding Pension Credit for many older people.
Certain individuals are reluctant to claim due to negative perceptions that have wrongly been associated with benefits, or simply believing other people are more entitled to support.
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Other people are unaware of the support they are entitled to altogether.
According to DWP figures, the payment is worth an average of £3,000 per year, which could make a huge difference.
Pension Credit tops up weekly income to £177.10 for single people, and joint weekly income to £270.30 for couples.
People may get extra amounts if they have other responsibilities and costs to bear.
Recently, Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to Maureen, a 77-year-old woman who described how Pension Credit had helped her.
She said: “Pension Credit changed my life. It has definitely made life bearable for me.
“When I got Pension Credit, it made the difference. It was a big help for me.
“There’s all sorts of things Pension Credit has helped me with, like the TV Licence.
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“I’m lucky I get Pension Credit and I don’t have to pay, otherwise I wouldn’t have TV.
“I would definitely encourage people to look into Pension Credit if they can.”
Pension Credit can be claimed in a number of ways: online, by phone, or via post.
However, Britons must provide the following information:
- National Insurance number
- Information about any income, savings and investments one has
- Information about income, savings and investments on the date they want to backdate the application to.
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