State Pension age Britons are entitled to a number of forms of support, including free NHS prescriptions in some cases, as well as discounted travel. While these can help manage regular costs and keep them to a minimum, there are also larger support measures which could be accessible. Those of state pension age, therefore, are being encouraged to check if their circumstances could entitle them to potentially hundreds or even thousands of pounds each year.
Aside from the set sum from the DWP, individuals may also receive additional amounts in certain circumstances.
This could occur if someone is a carer, severely disabled, or responsible for a child or young person.
Pension Credit, it is worth noting, is completely separate from a person’s state pension and the two sums do not impact one another.
But the payment is also considered as a “gateway benefit” due to the fact it enables Britons to be entitled to further support.
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Aid for housing costs such as Housing Benefit, Support for Mortgage Interest and Council Tax Reduction could be helpful to older people.
Assistance with heating costs is also available to those who need it during the winter months.
And Pension Credit is now the only way for over 75s to secure a free TV licence – an important entitlement for many.
To be eligible for Pension Credit, a person must live in England, Scotland or Wales.
Understandably, they must also be over state pension age in order to qualify.
When applying, a person’s income will be taken into account, and this could include:
- State pension
- Other pensions
- Employment earnings
- Most social security benefits
Not all benefits, however, count as income, with payments such as PIP, Council Tax Reduction and Attendance Allowance discounted.
What a person has in savings or investments, however, is likely to impact what they will receive in Pension Credit.
If someone has £10,000 or less, then this will ultimately not impact their benefit amount.
However, every £500 above this limit counts as £1 of income per week by the DWP.
For example, if someone has £11,000 in savings, this is counted as £2 income per week.
It is estimated, though, that an average Pension Credit payment is worth £3,000 per year, demonstrating the potential benefits of claiming.
The payment tops up a single person’s income to £177.10 per week, and £270.30 as a joint income for those in a couple.
This top up is known as Guarantee Credit, serving as the first part of Pension Credit.
The second half, which some may be entitled to, is Savings Credit.
Britons could get this sum if they reached state pension age before April 6, 2016, and saved some money towards their retirement.
Single people receive up to £14.04 per week, and couples £15.71 per week.
Individuals may still get some Savings Credit even if they do not receive the Guarantee Credit part of the payment.