Pension Credit: Guy Opperman discusses ongoing scheme
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State Pension age Britons may be entitled to various forms of support outside of the state pension sum. With the full state pension standing at £179.60 per week, many will be looking for ways to maximise their entitlement or look for an alternative stream of income. This is particularly the case for those not entitled to the full amount, or individuals who are on a low income.
In this sense, a claim for Pension Credit could be the most appropriate course of action.
The payment, overseen by the DWP, is intended to help pensioners who are on a low income, and on average is worth £3,000 per year.
It can help with living and housing costs for older people, which are often a significant financial burden.
Pension Credit tops up weekly income to £177.10 if single, or £270.30 as a joint income for those with a partner in a process known as Guarantee Credit.
State pension: Britons urged to check if they qualify for £3,000 boost – are you missing out? (Image: Getty)
But some may also get Savings Credit if they reached state pension age before April 6, 2016 and saved some more for retirement.
Individuals will get up to £14.04 per week if single, and up to £15.71 per week if in a partnership.
The Government explains: “If you get state pension, you should check if you’re entitled to get it topped up by Pension Credit.
“It’s worth checking if you’re entitled, even if you own your own home or have savings.”
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The DWP is now pushing Britons to check if they could be entitled to the sum.
It has launched a campaign to get people engaged with the payment and increase take-up.
The Department is working with charities such as Age UK to encourage pensioners to check they could receive a top-up.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, recently commented on the matter.
She said: “The numbers of older people living in poverty have risen steadily in the last few years, so they now top two million.
State pension: What is Pension Credit? (Image: EXPRESS)
“That’s a lot of older people worried sick about how they’ll cope if their heating or their cooker breaks down and needs replacing, more than the entire populations of Newcastle and Liverpool put together.
“It’s deeply frustrating that the money is available to top up the incomes of pensioners who live on the lowest incomes but that much of it goes begging every year because many never claim what is rightfully theirs.
“We really do want older people to obtain their full entitlements, particularly Pension Credit because this can open the door to additional support – but that means putting in a claim.”
Many older people are worried about claiming for a number of reasons, but these have been openly dispelled.
Some people are simply unaware of the benefit, while others feel a stigma attached to receiving this kind of help.
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But there is help at hand from charities such as Age UK to offer support to those who need it most when it comes to submitting a claim for Pension Credit.
The Government has said those who wish to claim will need to have certain information to hand.
This will include:
- A National Insurance number
- Information about income, savings and investments
- Bank account details
Britons will be able to start their application up to four months before reaching state pension age.
They can apply at any time after reaching this age, but their application can only be backdated by three months.
This means a person can get up to three months of Pension Credit in your first payment if you were eligible during that time.