Pension Credit is a benefit for people over State Pension age. It tops up your income if you're struggling to make ends meet.
TV licences - what now?
The BBC has announced it's scrapping free TV licences for the over 75s. But if you're over 75 and claim Pension Credit you could still be eligible for a free TV licence.
How much could I get?
Pension Credit comes in 2 parts:
Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level:
- £173.75 if you're single
- or £265.20 if you're a couple.
Savings Credit is extra money if you've got some savings or your income is higher than the basic State Pension. It's only available to people who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016. You could get up to:
- £13.97 extra per week if you're single
- or £15.62 if you're a couple.
Could Pension Credit help me get other benefits?
If you’re eligible, Pension Credit will not only give you a bit of extra cash, it could also help you get other benefits too:
- It’s unlikely you’ll have to pay Council Tax (unless other people live with you).
- You’ll get free NHS dental treatment, and you can claim help towards the cost of glasses and travel to hospital.
- You’ll get a Cold Weather Payment of £25 when the temperature is 0°C or below for 7 days in a row.
- If you rent your home, you may get your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit.
- If you own your home, you may be eligible for help with mortgage interest, ground rent and service charges.
- If you’re a carer, you may get an extra amount known as Carer Premium, or Carer Addition if it’s paid with Pension Credit. This is worth up to £36.85 a week.
- If you're over 75, the BBC has announced that from 2020 you'll need to be claiming Pension Credit to get a free TV licence.
You have nothing to lose by applying, but potentially a lot to gain, and even if you've previously been turned down, it's always worth making a new claim every year. Benefits rates change every year, as can your finances.
Find out more about changes to free TV licences
From 1 August 2020 over 75s will no longer be automatically entitled to a free TV licence. However, if you claim Pension Credit you can still apply for a free TV licence. Find out what this might mean for you, and how Age UK is fighting to keep TV free for everyone.
Am I eligible to claim Pension Credit?
Even if you own your home, you may still be eligible for Pension Credit. Nearly 9 out of 10 claims are successful and 2.5 million households across the UK receive Pension Credit.
Can I get Guarantee Credit?
You may be eligible for Guarantee Credit if you've reached State Pension age. This is now the same for men and women and is gradually increasing to reach 66 by October 2020. Working out your State Pension age can be tricky, but you can check your qualifying age easily using GOV.UK's State Pension calculator.
If you’re an eligible age, you can claim Guarantee Credit if your weekly income is less than £173.75 if you’re single, or £265.20 if you’re a couple.
If you’re an eligible age, but your weekly income is higher than these thresholds, you may still claim Guarantee Credit if you meet one of the following criteria:
- you have a severe disability
- you are a carer
- you have to pay housing costs like a mortgage.
Am I entitled to Savings Credit?
Only people who’ve reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 may be eligible to claim the Savings Credit part of Pension Credit.
If you’re a couple and one of you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you may be able to claim.
- There isn’t a savings limit for Pension Credit, but if you have over £10,000 this will affect how much you receive.
Changes to couples benefits
From 15 May 2019 there were changes for mixed-aged couples claiming Pension Credit. We have a page to run you through the changes and how they might affect you.
How do I claim Pension Credit?
Make sure you’ve reached the qualifying age by checking the table of dates above, by using our benefits calculator or the gov.uk calculator.
Boost your income
Find out which benefits you're eligible to claim
It only takes one phone call and you won’t have to fill in a form. Call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234 (textphone: 0800 169 0133). They will fill in the application for you over the phone. It’ll be quicker if you have the following details to hand:
- National Insurance number
- Bank account details
- Information about your income, savings and investments
- Information about your pension (if you have one)
- Details of any housing costs (such as mortgage, interest payments, service charges)
- Partner’s details (if you have a partner)
You can also claim online at www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim if there are no children or young people included in your claim and you already claim your State Pension.
If you haven't claimed your State Pension or are responsible for children or young people included in your claim, you'll need to claim by phone.
If you need help, speak to your local Age UK for help with claiming Pension Credit.
What should I do next?
Boost your income
Find out which benefits you're eligible to claim.