Pensioners could get £7,000 more a year – check now

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The benefit tops up the income of many pensioners on low incomes. The Government support is believed to be hugely underclaimed with tens of thousands of people missing out on the help.

Poverty charity Turn2us is calling on Britons of state pension age to check if they can access the benefit.

The group also has a benefits calculator people can use to find out what support they can get to meet the rising cost of living.

Michael Clarke, head of Information Programmes at Turn2us, said: “Pension Credit can act as a vital lifeline for people aged over 66 who might be on a low income and it is crucial for people to find out whether they are eligible to claim.

“The impact of the cost of living crisis cannot be underestimated and in the coming months, additional sources of income will be a huge help for people to weather this financial storm.

“By using the Turn2us Benefits Calculator, people can find out if there is extra support out there for them or their loved ones, so we urge people to do a financial health check on our website.”

Pension Credit is available to people who have reached state pension age, which is currently 66 for both men and women.

The benefit tops up a person’s income to £182.60 for a single claimant and up to £278.70 for couples, as part of the Guaranteed Credit element.

Additional payments are available depending on a person’s circumstances, such as if they are severely disabled or care for an adult.

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Morgan Vine, head of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said: “We know Pension Credit has the potential to lift 440,000 older people out of poverty, yet it still has the lowest uptake of any income-related benefit.

“Too many people in later life are still having to choose whether to heat their home or buy food, despite being eligible for this financial support.

“Pension Credit is a gateway to other financial support, and we estimate that if someone received all the additional money that Pension Credit provides a springboard to, they could get up to £7,000 a year more money in their pocket.

“As the unprecedented rise in the cost-of-living continues to hit hard and push more older people to crisis point, it has never been more important for the money set aside to reach the people who need it.”

Pension Credit is a ‘gateway’ benefit providing a person access to other support, such as a council tax reduction and discounted NHS treatment.

Claimants aged 75 and over can get a free TV licence and those on the benefit can also get help towards their housing costs or mortgage payments.

Payments are also increasing by 10.1 percent in April, along with many other benefits, including Universal Credit.

The uprating means the Guaranteed Credit top up will increase to £201.05 for single claimants and up to £306.85 for couples.

The Government website has a calculator tool a person can use to find out how much Pension Credit they can claim.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt also announced last year state pension payments are to increase by 10.1 percent in April.

People on the full basic state pension will see their payments increase from £141.85 a week to £156.20 a week.

The full new state pension is to increase from £185.15 a week to £203.85 a week. The triple lock policy was reinstated last year, with state pension payments increasing in line with last September’s figure for inflation.

The Government policy ensures the state pension increasing each year in line with the highest of 2.5 percent, the increase in average earnings or the rate of inflation.

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