Havering Welfare Benefits Adviser Lorraine Moss today writes in the Havering Daily on Pension Credit.
Pension Credit was introduced in October 2003 and replaced The Minimum Income Guarantee as the main means tested benefit for people over State Pension Age.
A recent survey revealed that one in 4 people of state pension age are failing to claim any state benefits that they are entitled to. Please see Pension Credit: British retirees may be missing out on £2,656 per year from DWP – act now | Personal Finance | Finance | Express.co.uk. I come across many people who are missing out on Pension Credit and it can make a substantial difference to their income.
One of the only positive things about the removal of free TV Licences for the over 75’s is that it has resulted in more people claiming Pension Credit.
Are You Eligible For Pension Credit?
There are 2 types of Pension Credit.
Guarantee Pension Credit – This tops up your weekly income if it is below £173.75 (for single claimant’s) or £265.20(for couples). Please note that since May 2019. In order to claim Pension Credit as a couple, both claimants must be of State Pension Age please see Pension Credit: extra information – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) . You may be eligible for a higher amount of Guarantee Pension Credit if you are eligible for The Severe Disability Premium or Carers Addition. There are also extra premiums if you have a dependent child but this amount is only payable if you are not receiving Child Tax Credit for the child in your care.
Savings Credit – Is an extra payment for people who have saved some money toward their retirement, to qualify you must have reached State Pension Age before April 2016. Please see Pension Credit – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Other Benefits When Claiming Pension Credit
If you’re eligible, Pension Credit will not only give you a bit of extra cash, it could also help you get other benefits too:1. It’s unlikely you’ll have to pay Council Tax (unless other people live with you).2. You’ll get free NHS dental treatment, and you can claim help towards the cost of glasses and travel to hospital.3. You’ll get a Cold Weather Payment of £25 when the temperature is 0°C or below for 7 days in a row.4. If you rent your home, you may get your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit.5. If you own your home, you may be eligible for help with mortgage interest, ground rent and service charges.6. If you’re a carer, you may get an extra amount known as Carer Premium, or Carer Addition if it’s paid with Pension Credit. This is worth up to £36.85 a week.7. If you’re over 75, the BBC has announced that from 2020 you’ll need to be claiming Pension Credit to get a free TV licence.
Do Savings Affect Pension Credit?
State Pensioners can have up to £10 000 worth of savings before they affect the amount of Pension Credit that they can claim. Every £500.00 over £10 000 is classed as £1.00 per week income. For example, if you have £20 000 saving, £10 000 of this would be disregarded and the remaining £10 000 would be classed as an income of £20.00 per week. Please make sure that you disclose all of your savings when you apply, otherwise this could result in an overpayment which will have to be paid back. You must also advise the DWP if any of your circumstances change. Please see Pension Credit: Report a change of circumstances – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
How To Apply For Pension Credit
You can apply online using the following link Pension Credit: How to claim – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or you can call 0800 99 1234. You will need to have your national insurance number to hand. Claim can be backdated to a maximum of 3 months so it would be a good idea to have your last 3 months Bank Statements to hand because you will be asked to give the exact balance of your account from the date that you wish to apply.