Therese Coffey outlines the benefits of Pension Credit scheme
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Recent figures have shown that there is a large number of people who are not receiving Pension Credit, despite being eligible to do so. By not claiming, people are potentially missing out on a host of benefits, such as a free TV licence.
Anyone who is over the age of 75 who successfully claims Pension Credit could save £159 a year by getting their TV licence for free.
The new data has shown that an estimated 1.47 million people are claiming Pension Credit in the 2021/22 tax year.
However, the benefit has been severely underclaimed, with only around 60 percent of people who are entitled to Pension Credit actually claiming it.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures show an estimated one million people are not receiving Pension Credit, despite being eligible to do so.
Figures from earlier this year showed that around £1.7billion of Pension Credit was going unclaimed.
What is Pension Credit?
Pension Credit is a benefit for those who are over state pension age and on a low income. It is designed to top up their weekly income and help with living costs.
It is completely separate from the state pension, and people who have other income or savings can still claim it.
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How much is Pension Credit worth?
There are two elements to Pension Credit, with each affording a different level of financial support.
The Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit tops up single pensioners’ weekly income to £177.10, which would mean they receive a total of £9,209.20 per year. Couples could see their joint weekly income boosted to £270.30, or £14,055.60 per year.
The second element of Pension Credit is Savings Credit, which is only available to people who reached state pension age before April 2016 and provides help in a different way.
People looking to claim the Savings Credit part of Pension Credit must have a weekly income of at least £153.70 a week if they are single, or a combined £244.12 a week for couples.
Single claimants of Savings Credit could get up to an extra £14.04 each week, which would provide an additional £730.08 per year. Couples could get up to £15.71 more per week, adding up to £816.92 for the year.
Who is eligible for Pension Credit?
People who live in England, Scotland or Wales and who have reached state pension age are entitled to claim Pension Credit.
Those who have a partner must include them on their application and apply as a couple. Couples are eligible if either they and their partner have both reached state pension age or if one of them is receiving Housing Benefit for people over state pension age.
Applicants for Pension Credit will have their income calculated to see how much they could get.
Anyone looking to apply for Pension Credit who has not yet reached state pension age can do so up to four months in advance. The state pension age is currently 66 in the UK.
Applications can also be backdated for up to three months for anyone who has not applied immediately after turning 66.
People can claim by calling the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234. They can also claim online and via post.
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