Pensioner warning as couple miss out on over £9,000 – check if you could claim

Therese Coffey outlines the benefits of Pension Credit scheme

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Pensioners will mainly look towards the state pension and their own savings, if they have them, for retirement. However, many could be entitled to further support that is currently lying dormant waiting for them to take advantage of. Nearly seven in 10 pensioner homeowners eligible for benefits are missing out, new research by Just Group in their twelfth annual report has found.

Benefit support is available for older people such as Pension Credit and Council Tax Reduction – but it is important to check eligibility. 

The highest amount of extra income lost was recorded at a staggering £9,090 per year.

A couple in Kent were missing out, as while they received some disability and mobility benefits, they weren’t aware of other benefits they could claim.

These included Pension Credit, Savings Pension Credit and Council Tax Reduction.

In total, about one-third of those missing income were entitled to benefits worth at least £1,000 per year. 

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said: “Every year, we find meaningful income that would make a real difference to people’s lives is not being claimed.

“The proportion eligible for a benefit is trending lower but more of those people are failing to claim.

“It raises serious questions about why people in most need of support are not receiving what is rightly theirs.”

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Guarantee Pension Credit, specifically designed to help low-income pensioners, was found to have the highest take-up rate of all benefits reviewed.

Some seven in 10 people who are eligible have submitted a claim for this additional help.

However, those who are failing to claim are missing out on an average of £2,265 per year in extra income.

Conversely, Savings Pension Credit has the lowest take-up rate, with just 45 percent of those who are eligible making a claim.

These individuals were found to be missing out on £596 per year. 

Council Tax Reduction is also claimed by less than half of those who are entitled, with an average shortfall of £748 per year. 

Mr Lowe added: “For the two elements of Pension Credit, the Government estimates up to a million households are failing to claim up to £1.8billion or around £1,700 each. 

“Couples are less likely to take up their entitlement than single people and the over-75s are less likely to claim than younger pensioners.

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“It reinforces the message that benefits information is integral to retirement guidance and that those struggling for income should check if they are missing out which many fail to do. 

“Our research last year found nearly half of homeowners aged over-65 had never checked their entitlement to state benefits compared to just 16 percent who are renting.”

A DWP spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “We want to ensure pensioners receive all of the support they are entitled to and are continuing to encourage those that are eligible to claim Pension Credit, and the wide range of other benefits it can provide; including, Warm Home Discount, Housing Benefit and Council Tax reduction schemes, as well as a free TV licence for those over 75. 

“Having savings, a pension or owning a home are not barriers to applying.”

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