One-third of county retirees don’t get retirement credit, says Citizen Advice Bureau

A third of East Lothian retirees are missing an average of £ 60 per week, local councilors have pointed out.

Citizens Advice in Musselburgh and Haddington estimates that between 1,100 and 1,500 older people in the area do not claim the pension credit they are entitled to each week.

They point out that claiming this right will put more money in their pockets and open the door to additional benefits such as lower local taxes, housing allowances and help with fuel bills, as well as free TV licenses if more. 75 years old.

Both CABs are urging retirees to claim what they are owed.

The amount of the pension credit depends on the individual’s circumstances but the average is just under £ 60 per week (£ 3,120 per year).

Sarah Matthews, Director of Musselburgh CAB, said: “It has been a terrible year for everyone without our seniors having to fight unnecessarily for money.

“We see so many retirees coming to our two CABs because they can’t make ends meet.

“It’s heartbreaking to see people of this generation unable to put food on the table or turn on the heat. And in many cases, we find that they do not claim the pension credit that is owed to them. This simple change in their income can make a huge difference to them.

Gayle Bell, Director of Haddington CAB, said: “If you have reached the statutory retirement age and have a low income, it is easy to know if you are entitled to a pension credit to supplement your existing pension. .

“You can call your local CAB, where we can review your situation and help you make a claim.

“Remember, it’s your money. If you’ve paid taxes and national insurance all your life, you have a right to see what is owed to you now.

“It’s not charity, it’s your right, so be sure to claim it.

“And don’t forget your local CAB is there to help you do that. Our advice is completely free, confidential and independent.

Helen Simpson, of East Lothian, was not aware of the pension credit until she contacted the Musselburgh CAB.

She said, “I was due for dental treatment and was looking to see if I could get help with the costs.

“So I called Musselburgh CAB to see if there was anything they could do to help. It was only then that I was informed of the pension credit.

“It turns out that I should have claimed this benefit from the start, and it then gave me free dental treatment.

“The advisors have provided me with a lot of useful information about the benefit and the application process.

“Now I get an extra £ 165 per month which really makes a difference to me.

“I would say to anyone reading this now, go and see if you qualify for the pension credit. It’s your money, so why leave it on a shelf somewhere when you can spend it.

“The money is there and people are missing something. I would not have known about the pension credit if I had not contacted my local CAB.

“Potential pension credit entitlement doesn’t seem like something you learn about when you reach retirement age, and it’s only word of mouth that this information gets spread.

“I would recommend anyone who is of retirement age to check whether they are eligible for a pension credit or not, because it has been absolutely brilliant for me.”

For advice, people can contact Musselburgh CAB on 0131 653 2748 or Haddington CAB on 01620 824471, or call the pension credit application line directly on 0800 99 1234. Have your income details and number with you. national insurance.