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Pension Credit: Are you entitled to claim?

  • 12/02/2020
  • Author:bridgetmccall

2 in 5 eligible older people are not claiming this benefit

Older lady looking at coins and holding her purse

Are you over State Pension age and struggling financially?

Help may be available to you through Pension Credit.

This week, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) launched an awareness campaign to promote Pension Credit. For 12 weeks, adverts will appear in GP surgeries and post offices, encouraging people to check their eligibility for the benefit.

Currently, 2 in 5 eligible older people are not claiming this benefit (1).

What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit for people on a low income who have reached State Pension age.

Pension Credit has two parts – Guarantee Pension Credit and Savings Pension Credit. You may be able to get one or both parts depending on your circumstances.

  • Guarantee Pension Credit tops up your weekly income if you have a low income

  • Savings Pension Credit is an extra payment to reward people who have prepared for their retirement by having some savings or income.

You can claim Pension Credit whether or not you are still working. You do not need to have paid any national insurance contributions.

Who can claim Pension Credit?

There are different rules for getting the Guarantee Pension Credit and the Savings Pension Credit.

  • To claim Guarantee Pension Credit, you must be State Pension age. If you are a couple, both you and your partner must usually have reached State Pension age. If only one partner in a couple is of State Pension age, the situation is complicated. So use our Benefits Calculator to check if you qualify

  • The Savings Pension Credit can be claimed by men and women aged 65 or over.  You must also have reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016. However, see Gov.UK website for further information on whether couples can qualify.

You can work out the exact date of your State Pension age by using the Gov.UK website's State Pension age calculator.

For more information, read our Pension Credit guide

Use Turn2us tools

You can use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to Pension Credit and other benefits.

You can also use our Grants Search to see if you are eligible for help from a charitable fund, based on your background, circumstances and needs.

You can find out about other help that may be available to you by reading Your Situation: Older person.

Sources:

  1. Independent Age blog: Pension Credit on the Scottish Agenda
  2. Gov.UK: Pension Credit toolkit

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