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Age UK response to the numbers of older people missing out on Pension Credit increase year on year

Published on 26 October 2023 02:55 PM

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director At Age UK said: “It's nothing short of a disaster that according to the latest figures, the numbers of older people missing out on Pension Credit have actually increased year on year. In 2021/22 there were 800,000 older households entitled to Pension Credit but not receiving it – compared to 770,000 in 2019/20. Shockingly, this is the first time in a decade that take-up of this crucial benefit has actually gone down, and it means that over a third (37%) of older people whose incomes are so low that they qualify for this means-tested help are failing to receive it. 

"I hate to think how difficult these pensioners lives must be as they try to make ends meet on such a meagre income, and it's a tragedy that things could be appreciably easier for them if they only received the extra help they are due. It’s good that the Government is taking steps to raise awareness of Pension Credit, but if next year's figures are not considerably better it will be time for a fundamental rethink about how Pension Credit is structured and claimed. We can't go on tolerating a situation in which so many pensioners are missing out on help they badly need."

"With prices continuing to be so high for everyday items it's more important than ever that anyone on a low income receives all their entitlements. Another feature of Pension Credit is that it opens the door to other forms of support, including help with energy bills, rent (through housing benefit), council tax, some health costs and, for people aged 75 an over, a free TV licence, so if you think you may qualify it is always worth submitting a claim.

"Age UK urges any older person living on a low income or struggling with their bills to contact Age UK’s free Advice line on 0800 169 65 65 to check they’re receiving all the financial support available to them. The latest figures show that the average person missing out on Pension Credit is losing over £2000 a year so a successful claim could be life-changing, giving people the confidence to eat well and keep their heating in the colder months that are just round the corner. Age UK can also help with filling out the forms."

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Last updated: Oct 26 2023

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