There’s still time for people to qualify for the first lump sum, but struggling retirees must apply for the pension credit by August 18. The £650 cost of living payment was first announced by former Chancellor, Rishi Sunak in May.
The first installment is worth £326 and it’s the first in a series of payments many people will receive this year and the second half worth £324 is due in the autumn.
To get the first payment, seniors must have been entitled to a pension credit payment (or subsequently be entitled to a payment) during the period from April 16 to May 25, 2022.
However, almost a million retirees are not applying for pension credit and are therefore not eligible for cost of living payments at this time.
According to the Department for Work and Pensions’ own research, around 850,000 households are not applying for pension credit worth £1.7billion, meaning many are missing out on the extra support.
Age UK is urging older people to apply for pension credit if they think they are eligible.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK, said: “It’s not too late – there is still a window of opportunity for older people on low incomes to qualify for the first part of the cost of care payment. £650 life from the government this year, so we urge people to claim without delay, so they don’t miss out.
The pension credit is offered in two parts: the guarantee credit and the savings credit.
The collateral credit supplements your weekly income and the savings credit is an extra boost if you have savings or higher income.
She added: “The pension credit not only gives a significant boost to people’s weekly income; it also opens the door to a host of additional supports, including help with energy bills, a free TV license and reductions on household bills.
“We know that around three-quarters of a million pensioners are currently deprived of this important benefit.”
Pension credit claims can be backdated up to three months.
To be eligible for pension credit you must be living in the UK and you (and your partner if living together) must be of state pension age, which is currently 66 for men and women. women.
Your current weekly income must be less than £182.60 if you are single or £278.70 if you are in a relationship.
There is no savings limit for Pension Credit, but if you have over £10,000 it affects how much you receive, every £500 you have above £10,000 counts as £1 of income when your pension credit is calculated.
You will need to submit your claim to the DWP by August 18 to ensure your claim can be backdated to the reference period.
If a claim is made later, the DWP may not be able to deal with your claim in time for you to be entitled to the £650 cost of living payment.
Ms Abrahams added: ‘If you have heard of Pension Credit and are wondering if you might be eligible for it, please contact Age UK for more information.’
“A lot of people often think that if you have savings or a small pension, there’s no point in applying, but that’s often not the case.”
“The sooner people act, the sooner they will know if they are eligible for some of the additional financial assistance, and it could be life changing.”
Pensions Minister Guy Opperman said: “We recognize the challenges some pensioners will face with the cost of living, which is why promoting pension credit is a priority.”
“In the week of our recent Pension Credit Action Day, we saw a 275% increase in claims, but we’re not stopping there.”
“We continue to raise awareness of the pension credit, calling on all retired family members, friends and loved ones to inquire with them and see if they can get this additional financial support, which can do a huge difference in people’s lives.”