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People on State Pension can quickly check eligibility for weekly £182 top-up
People on State Pension can quickly check eligibility for weekly £182 top-up,DWP shares two 'easy' ways older people can quickly find out if they should claim £3,500 annual benefit.

People on State Pension can quickly check eligibility for weekly £182 top-up

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is urging people of State Pension age not to miss out on an average income boost of up to £3,500 a year through a benefit designed specifically for older people. DWP recently took to social media as part of its ongoing campaign to raise awareness about Pension Credit, a passport benefit which can unlock extra help with daily living costs including Council Tax, Housing costs and hearing bills.
DWP has committed to continue promoting the benefit throughout 2023 in an effort to help an estimated 800,000 State Pensioners on a low income who may be missing out on the weekly benefit boost of up to £182 each week for single pensioners and up to £278 for couples.

The post on Twitter said: "If you are over State Pension age and on a low income, it is easy to check whether you are eligible and missing out on Pension Credit."

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Other help if you get Pension Credit

If you qualify for Pension Credit you can also get other help, such as:

  • Housing Benefit if you rent the property you live in
  • Support for Mortgage Interest if you own the property you 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 your heating costs through the Warm Home Discount Scheme
  • A discount on the Royal Mail redirection service if you are moving house

Mixed aged older couples and Pension Credit

In May 2019, the law changed so that a ‘mixed age couple’ – a couple where one partner is of State Pension age and the other is under it – are considered to be a ‘working age’ couple when checking entitlement to means-tested benefits.

This means they cannot claim Pension Credit or pension age Housing Benefit until they are both State Pension age. Before this DWP change, a mixed age couple could be eligible to claim the more generous State Pension age benefits when just one of them reached State Pension age.

How to use the Pension Credit calculator

To use the calculator on GOV.UK, you will need details of:

  • earnings, benefits and pensions

  • savings and investments

You’ll need the same details for your partner if you have one.

You will be presented by a series of questions with multiple choice answer options.

This includes:

  • Your date of birth
  • Your residential status
  • Where in the UK you live
  • Whether you are registered blind
  • Which benefits you currently receive
  • How much you receive each week for any benefits you get
  • Whether someone is paid Carer’s Allowance to look after you
  • How much you get each week from pensions – State Pension, private and work pensions
  • Any employment earnings
  • Any savings, investments or bonds you have
A man and woman are sitting looking at a computer screen smiling
Pension Credit can also help give older people access to housing costs and Council Tax help. (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Once you have answered these questions, a summary screen shows your responses, allowing you to go back and change any answers before submitting. The Pension Credit calculator then displays how much benefit you could receive each week.

All you have to do then is follow the link to the application page to find out exactly what you will get from the DWP, including access to other financial support.

There’s also an option to print off the answers you give using the calculator tool to help you complete the application form quicker without having to look out the same details again. Try the Pension Credit Calculator for yourself or family member to make sure you’re receiving all the financial support you are entitled to claim.

Who cannot use the Pension Credit calculator?

You cannot use the calculator if you or your partner:

  • are deferring your State Pension

  • own more than one property

  • are self employed

  • have housing costs (such as service charges or Crown Tenant rent) which are neither mortgage repayments nor rent covered by Housing Benefit

How to make a claim

You can start your application up to four months before you reach State Pension age. You can claim any time after you reach State Pension age but your claim can only be backdated for three months.

This means you can get up to three months of Pension Credit in your first payment if you were eligible during that time.

You will need:

  • your National Insurance number

  • information about your income, savings and investments

  • your bank account details, if you’re applying by phone or by post

If you’re backdating your claim, you’ll need details of your income, savings and investments on the date you want your claim to start.

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Apply online

You can use the online service if:

  • you have already claimed your State Pension

  • there are no children or young people included in your claim

To check your entitlement, phone the Pension Credit helpline on 0800 99 1234 or use the GOV.UK Pension Credit calculator here to find out how much you could get.

To keep up to date with the latest State Pension news, join our Money Saving Scotland Facebook page here, follow us on Twitter @Record_Money, or subscribe to our newsletter which goes out Monday to Friday – sign up here.


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