Bury council warns residents about unclaimed pension credits

The council has urged borough residents to check if they are eligible for top-up pension payments as millions of pounds go unclaimed.

Figures revealed that around 36,000 eligible households in Greater Manchester are missing around £70million in unclaimed pension credit.

They could also miss additional cost-of-living payments that the government is making this year.

In Bury, around £4million is unclaimed by around 2,175 eligible households.

The Pension Credit is designed to bring pensioners’ weekly income to a minimum amount and could improve eligible people by an average of £34 a week.

As well as extra weekly money, the pension credit also unlocks other financial benefits, including a free TV license for over 75s, council tax assistance and money for insulation green of the houses.

Pension Credit recipients will also receive an additional £650 from the government this year to pay for cost of living increases.

This will be paid in two instalments, with the first £326 now being paid into retiree accounts.

However, to qualify for this payment, individuals must have applied for the pension credit by Thursday, August 18.

The main reason older people don’t apply is because they don’t think they qualify.

When it comes to finances and benefits, older people are more likely to respond to individual enquiries, from family and friends or trusted local contacts.

The campaign encourages everyone to ask older family members, friends and customers, “Have you filled up? “.

Cllr Richard Gold, cabinet member responsible for finance and communities at the council, said: “We are introducing a range of measures to help households with the cost of living, including a £100 payment from the Support Fund to households from the government to each pensioner who receives municipal tax benefits.

“The pension credit can provide extra income for those who need it, and I encourage everyone to check if family members and friends are eligible for the top-up.”

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham added: “With such pressure on household finances, it is vital that older people receive all the money to which they are entitled.

“A third of those eligible for Pension Credit in Greater Manchester do not apply for it, and many are also missing out on income from Attendance Benefit and Housing Benefit.”

To check whether you or a loved one have all the rights due to you, contact your local social housing provider, visit the Independent Age Independent Age website or call their freephone helpline on 0800 319 6789.