People of state pension age have been urged to check if they are eligible for Pension Credit as this could entitle them to an extra £600 in cost of living payments.
The benefit alone provides a weekly top up to a person’s income that could be worth over £3,000 a year.
Claimants may also qualify for cost of living payments going out over the course of this tax year, with a £300 payment to go out in autumn 2023 and a £299 payment to go out in spring 2024.
Pension Credit can be claimed up to three months in arrears, so if a person puts in a claim now they may well qualify for the payments. The Government has yet to set out qualifying dates for the payments.
Thousands of pensioners will get another extra payment this winter, as the Winter Fuel Payment is to be supplemented by an additional cost of living payment of between £150 and £300.
READ MORE State pension could hit £14,000 a year
Pension Credit tops up a person’s income up to £201.05 a week for single claimants and up to £306.85 a week for couples.
Claimants can also get extra payments through the benefit depending on their situation, such as if a claimant cares for someone.
A person can claim Pension Credit up to four months before they reach state pension age even if they are not claiming their state pension.
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Some 850,000 Britons of state pension age are thought to be missing out on Pension Credit.
Claiming the benefit provides access to a host of other means of support, including free TV licences for claimants aged 75 and over.
Other help available to those who claim Pension Credit includes:
- Housing Benefit if a claimant rents the property they live in
- Support for Mortgage Interest if a claimant owns the property they live in
- Council Tax discount
- Free TV licence if you are aged 75 or over
- Help with NHS dental treatment, glasses and transport costs for hospital appointments
- Help with heating costs through the Warm Home Discount Scheme
- A discount on the Royal Mail redirection service if a claimant is moving house.
A person can work out how much they could get through Pension Credit using a calculator tool on the Government website.
To use the tool, a person will need to provide details of their earnings, benefits and pensions, as well as their savings and investments.
If a Pension Credit claimant has chosen to defer claiming their state pension, the amount of state pension they would get is still counted as part of their income when calculating how much of the benefit they get.
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