Money Matters: Don’t miss out on Pension Credit
In this week's Money Matters column, our Debt & Energy Manager Dan Bebbington encourages all those who are eligible to apply for Pension Credit
Pension credit is a benefit aimed at retired people on low incomes and can be worth £1,000s a year. Plus, if you claim it you can access a whole raft of other benefits including council tax discounts and free TV licences for over-75s. However, about 800,000 eligible households don't claim – often because they don't know they can or that they need to.
It takes minutes to check if you qualify, so don't stall, just call. The exact rules of who can get pension credit are complex, if you're of state pension age (66 or older) single and have total weekly income under £182.60, and under £278.70 for a couple. You can check if your entitlement by visiting www.gov.uk/pension-credit
Pension credit can be worth £65 a week on average. This will be dependent on how much income you receive each week and the level of any savings you may have how much pension credit you receive.
Even if you find out you're only entitled to a small amount of pension credit, it's still worth claiming as it means you can qualify for other benefits.
As part of the Government's cost of living support package, over eight million households will get a one-off cash boost to help with rising household bills. This includes people on pension credit, who will be paid in two instalments: the first, worth £326, will be made from Thursday 14 July, and the second, worth £324, in the autumn.
To qualify for both payments, you'll need to have been eligible for and claiming pension credit on 25 May 2022. Luckily, however, you can backdate a pension credit claim, so if you reached state pension age on or before 25 May 2022 and aren't yet claiming pension credit, you have until 18 August 2022 to apply and qualify for the full £650.
If you were under state pension age on 25 May, or you forget to apply before the August cut-off, you may still be able to get the second payment of £324.
Those on pension credit can also claim a FREE TV licence. An annual standard colour TV licence is now £159 – so it’s a huge saving.
If you get the guarantee credit part of pension credit, you're entitled to the maximum council tax deduction. Depending on your local authority's rules, this may cover your entire council tax bill. But if you live with any adults who aren't dependent on you, then the reduction might be less.
The warm home discount is a credit on your energy bill, normally given each year to people on low incomes. If you get any amount of guarantee credit you are entitled to the rebate, but you need to be signed up with a supplier who is part of the scheme, and you also need to apply. You should get a letter between October and December each year telling you what you need to do.
10th August 2022