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Thousands of pensioners missing out on £301 – are you?
Latest figures show hundreds of thousands of retirees could be missing out on claiming the £301 cost of living payment, as well as benefits worth up to £3,500. As many as 850,000 pensioners could miss out on this money boost – are you one of them?
Experts from investment firm AJ Bell are now encouraging those of retirement age to sign up for pension credit, before May 19th. Applying for the benefit means you will qualify for the £301 support payment. You must apply before the deadline of May 19th to qualify. You can also backdate the payments up to three months.
But the cost-of-living payment isn’t the only cash you could be scooping up. Pension credit payments are worth over £3,500 per year on average. This is a huge income boost for retirees.
Are you eligible?
If you are over the state pension age and live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can apply. If you are in a couple, both parties must be over state pension age to apply. You will qualify for the benefit if your weekly income is less than £201.05 per week for a single person, or less than £306.85 for couples.
Your state pension, private pensions, some social security benefits, earnings from employment and any savings or investments over £10,000 will be considered. Even if your income is too high, you may be able to get savings pension credit.
Attendance allowance, disability living allowance, PIP, council tax reductions and housing benefits do not count as income. Neither do Christmas bonuses you may receive!
How to apply
To apply for pension credit, you will need to ensure you have all your personal details handy. Make sure you have your National Insurance number, information about your income, plus your bank account details.
You can apply via the government website or call the pension credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.
How much do you get?
Pension credit is split into two categories. You may be eligible for both, or just one part of the benefit.
Savings credit is money given to you if you have saved for your retirement. This is currently £15.94 per week for a single person, and £17.84 a week for a married couple.
Guarantee credit is cash that tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum. As mentioned previously, this is £201.05 per week for a single person, or less than £306.85 for couples.
If you are disabled or caring for someone who is disabled, you may qualify for more.
You are usually paid into your bank account, usually every four weeks.
What the experts are saying
Tom Selby, head of retirement policy at AJ Bell, comments:
“Pension credit is massively underclaimed in the UK, with the government estimating 850,000 eligible pensioners fail to make a claim for the benefit each year. The average pension credit payment is worth over £3,500 a year, according to the DWP – a vital boost for low-income retirees during normal times but even more important with inflation continuing to eat away at household budgets.
“Pension credit is not just a valuable benefit in its own right – it also acts as a gateway to other benefits, such as help with heating costs and free TV licenses. And there is an extra incentive for pensioners to make a pension credit claim by 19 May this year. A successful pension credit claim made by this date also triggers valuable cost-of-living payments, the latest of which is worth £301 to those who are eligible.”