MARTIN Lewis has urged a million people to do a simple check to see if they are missing £3,300 a year.
Retirees could be deprived of assistance if they do not apply for a pension credit.
The pension credit gives you extra income if you are of legal retirement age and have a low income.
It increases the weekly income of the poorest pensioners to £182.60 for a single person and £278.70 for couples.
Struggling households could receive up to £3,300 a year – anyone caring or disabled can benefit from the higher payments.
But the MoneySavingExpert founder said it was a “national tragedy” that up to a million pensioners could be cut off from the aid.
According to the government’s own figures, around £1.7billion in pension credit has gone unclaimed.
Martin said the Hello Brittany that you ‘absolutely need to get in touch’ with the Pension Credit application line if you are of state pension age – 66 or over – and have a total income of less than £200 a week .
He said the pension credit was a “bridging benefit” because you can get other help just because you’re a claimant.
For example, you could get a free TV license if you’re over 75, a council tax reduction, and the cold weather payment.
How do I check if I’m eligible?
To benefit from it, you (or your partner if you live with one) must have reached the legal retirement age, which is currently set at 66 years.
You must also live in England, Scotland or Wales
Your household income will be calculated during your application and if you do not reach the thresholds, you will receive an additional amount.
Your income includes:
- State pension
- other retreats
- income from employment and self-employment
- most social security benefits, e.g. care allowance
If you have £10,000 or less in savings and investments this will not affect your pension credit.
If you have more than £10,000, every £500 over £10,000 counts as £1 of weekly income.
You can start your application up to four months before you reach state retirement age.
You can apply anytime after reaching state retirement age, but your application can only be backdated by three months.
You can use the online service if:
- you have already applied for your state pension
- there are no children or young people included in your application
You can apply online using the government service.
Alternatively, you can make a claim by telephone on the Pension Credit Claim Line on 0800 99 1234.
To apply by mail, print and complete the Pension Credit Application Form or call the Claims Line to request one.
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