Two thousand people in Great Britain will receive letters inviting them to apply for Pension Credit as part of an innovative new trial launched today.
The letters and leaflets will be targeted at households in ten local authorities that are already in receipt of Housing Benefit, but not claiming Pension Credit.
Launched by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the “Invitation to Claim” trial targets those likely to be eligible for Pension Credit – individuals above State Pension age and in receipt of Housing Benefit.
Pension Credit can be worth over £3,500 per year on average for people over State Pension age and on a low income – and it can lead to further support including extra Cost of Living payments later this year. It is part of a range of ways the Government is easing the cost of living for people up and down the country.
The ten local areas selected for the trial have been selected to ensure a representative sample of urban, rural, regional and national areas.
Minister for Pensions Laura Trott MBE MP said:
“We recognise the challenges some pensioners will be facing with the cost of living which is why we are easing those pressures with measures like Pension Credit, alongside driving down inflation.
“Pension Credit take-up is at the highest level since 2010, and this trial will help us test even more ways to ensure pensioners are receiving all the support they can.
“Those under pension age can also help by checking in with older loved ones and asking them to consider if they could be eligible for this extra financial support.”
Pension Credit is designed to help with daily living costs for people over State Pension age and on a low income, though they do not need to be in receipt of State Pension to receive it.
The benefit tops up a person’s income to a minimum of £201.05 per week for single pensioners and to £306.85 for couples – or more if a person has a disability or caring responsibilities.
Even a small Pension Credit award can open doors to other benefits – including help with housing costs, council tax, heating bills, as well as up to £600 in extra Cost of Living payments later this year too. This follows the biggest increase to the State Pension in history this year.
Currently, nearly 1.4 million pensioners in Britain receive Pension Credit, however many are still not claiming this extra financial help.
Pension Credit can be claimed by phone and online, ensuring that older people can apply safely and easily, wherever they are. The online Pension Credit calculator is also on hand to help pensioners check if they’re likely to be eligible and get an estimate of what they may receive.
- The ten local authorities chosen for the “Invitation to Claim” trial are:
- Vale of White Horse
- Redcar and Cleveland
- West Lothian
Applications for Pension Credit can be made:
- On the How to Claim page
- Over the phone by calling 0800 99 1234 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm)
- By printing out and filling in a paper application form
- For more information visit the Pension Credit GOV.UK page. For extra resources for stakeholders and businesses, the department has also produced a Stakeholder Toolkit
- Pensioners can check their eligibility and get an estimate of what they may receive by using the online Pension Credit calculator – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)