DWP warns 850,000 households missing out on Pension Credit

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While more than 1.4 million retirees receive retirement credits, many do not take advantage of this additional financial help, which can also be a gateway to other benefits.

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An estimated £1.7 billion in benefits remains unclaimed at a time when the cost of living crisis is hitting those on low or fixed incomes particularly hard.

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Martin Lewis pensioners who are due in payment could receive up to £3,300 a year (Picture: ITV)

The DWP, which held its second annual Pension Credit “Day of Action” as part of an awareness campaign, said it would provide brochures to local communities and encourage businesses to educate customers.

The campaign reminds that even a small premium can provide access to a wide range of other benefits, such as help with housing costs, council tax or heating bills. For those over 75, this includes the additional right to a free TV license.

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Pensions Minister Guy Opperman said: “We recognize the challenges some pensioners will face in terms of the cost of living, which is why promoting pension credit is a priority.

“We are calling on everyone with family, friends and retired loved ones to reach out to them and see if they can get this additional financial support that could make a big difference in people’s everyday lives.”

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Who can claim pension credits?

The pension loan is intended to help people on a low income and over the statutory retirement age with their daily living expenses.

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You must live in England, Scotland or Wales and be of legal retirement age to qualify for a pension credit.

It can be applied for by telephone and online as well as online Retirement Loan Calculator can help retirees check if they are likely to be eligible and provide an estimate of what they may receive.

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How much money do I get?

Pension Credit increases a person’s weekly earnings to at least £182.60 per week for single pensioners and £278.70 for couples.

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You may receive additional amounts known as “Warranty Credit” if you have other responsibilities and costs.

Martin Lewis, founder and chairman of MoneySavingExpert.com, said pensioners who are due a payment could get up to £3,300 a year.

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He said: “In the midst of the cost of living crisis, it is a national tragedy that one million retirees are missing out on a major boost in income.

“My simple rule of thumb is if you (or someone you know) are 66 or over and have a combined income of less than £200 a week, go online or call the pension credit hotline to see if You are due a payment which can be up to £3,300 per year.

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“I’m not saying everyone will understand, but many will, and it only takes a few minutes to figure it out. So don’t hesitate, just call.

“And that’s not just a lot of money, it’s often a gateway entitlement too, meaning you’re entitled to a range of other support, like optical treatments and, for the over-75s, a free TV license.”

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Caroline Abrahams, Director of Charities at Age UK, added: “Any elderly person on low or modest income who is struggling with their bills or would like to know more about any additional income that may be available can also contact Age UK to check this out to assert their full claims and see if they are among the many missing out.

“People can call Age UK’s advice hotline on freephone number 0800 169 65 65, contact their local Age UK office or visit www.ageuk.org.uk.”

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