Do you qualify for Pension Credit?

Pension Credit helps top up your pension if you are on a low income, but many people don’t claim it, often because they don’t know they are eligible.

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More than three million households are eligible for Pension Credit, but it is believed that around 880,000 don’t claim it. This is often because they don’t know they are eligible or because they think there is a stigma to applying because they don’t like to ask for benefits.

Yet in today’s cost of living crisis, many pensioners are struggling and many have unretired and  working past retirement because of financial concerns.

So what is Pension Credit? It is a weekly payment that is available to people in England, Scotland and Wales who are past the State Pension Age and are on a low income. If you have a partner you will need to include them on an application and they will also need to be past State Pension Age or one of you will need to be past State Pension Age and in receipt of housing benefit. 

When you apply your income will be calculated, including your joint income if you have a partner. 

What you’ll get

Pension Credit tops up:

  • your weekly income to around £201.05 if you’re single
  • your joint weekly income to £306.85 if you have a partner

If your income is higher, you might still be eligible for Pension Credit if you have a disability, care for someone, have savings or you have housing costs.

Income includes your pension[s] even if you have deferred or not yet claimed it, earnings and some benefits such as Carer’s Allowance, but not others, including Adult Disability Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independent Payment. 

If you have savings and investments worth £10K or more they will count as income. Every £500 over £10,000 counts as £1 income a week. 

To get an idea of how much you might be paid, you can use the Pension Credit calculator. The average is around £75 a week or around £3,900/year. Pension Credit also enables you to claim other benefits, such as a free tv licence.

In addition, those who reached state pension age before April 2016 can boost their Pension Credit  if they have made provision for their retirement via savings, work or a private pension, giving them up to £15.94 a week if they’re single, and £17.84 if they are in a couple. To qualify for the boost, they have to earn above a threshold amount of £174.49 if they are single and £277.12 if they are in a couple.

How to claim Pension Credit

You can apply online here. You can start your application up to four months before you reach State Pension age and can apply any time after you reach State Pension age, but your application can only be backdated by three months.

More information here.



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