Pensioners urged to apply for cost of living support before it’s too late

People of state pension age urged to verify their eligibility for Pension Credit to access cost of living support.

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Turn2us, a national anti-poverty organisation, urges people of state pension age to verify their eligibility for Pension Credit in order to obtain additional money for living expenses.

People over the age of 66 who are eligible for Pension Credit have until the 18th of August to submit an application; as claims can be backdated for up to three months, those who file before the deadline may get an additional £650 towards essential bills such as food or heating.

Pension Credit may play a crucial role in improving income, since it strives to provide individuals with additional financial support on top of their state pension and can also serve as a “passport” to other benefits.

These consist of discounts in council tax, the Warm Home Discount, and Housing Benefit. As part of the support, those aged 75 and older are also entitled for a free television licence.

In May, the government unveiled a package of financial assistance to help households battle growing living expenses. This meant that anyone receiving means-tested benefits, such as Pension Credit, would get an additional £650 in two separate payments by the end of September.

To be eligible for the first cost of living payment, an individual must have received Pension Credit on any day in the month preceding May 25, 2022.

However, new Pension Credit claims can be retroactive for a maximum of three months.

Now, Turn2us is urging persons of state pension age, as well as any relatives or neighbours who may be assisting someone who meets the criteria, to apply for Pension Credit before the deadline in order to receive both payments.

Anna Stevenson, Senior Welfare Benefits Specialist at Turn2us says: “We know that 95% of our service users are worried about price increases over the next few months.

“And at a time where more people are being pushed to the financial brink, we are hearing from increasingly desperate people who don’t know where to turn.

“Pension Credit can act as a vital lifeline for people aged over 66 who might be on a low income, and it is therefore crucial for people to check if they can claim to receive additional money.

“The impact of the cost-of-living crisis cannot be underestimated, and extra sources of income will be a huge help for people to weather this financial storm.

“By using the Turn2us Benefits Calculator, people of state pension age can find out if they may be eligible to claim Pension Credit so we urge people to check today to see what additional support they might be able to claim.”

Currently, around 2.5 million people aged over 66 are entitled to Pension Credit to top up their retirement income – yet around two in five people who qualify aren’t claiming it. According to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), this equated up to an estimated £1.7bn being left unclaimed in 2019/20.

Morgan Vine, Head of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age added: “Over 2 million older people are living in poverty and are in dire need of support to cover the cost of basic essentials.

“We know that 64% of people over the age of 65 cannot afford a £100 increase in their monthly costs, which means many will be forced to choose between heating their homes or eating a meal this winter. This not acceptable.

“There is support out there for older people on a low income in the shape of Pension Credit.

“We urge older people to use online calculators, like the ones provided by both Independent Age and Turn2us, or call one of our helplines to check their eligibility.

“Even if you are only entitled to a small top up, it opens the door to other important payments, including the recently announced cost of living support.”

Pensioners, or friends or relatives on their behalf, can use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator to check if they qualify here: https://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/

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