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Age UK urges pensioners on low incomes to put in a claim for Pension Credit without delay

By: Age UK
Published on 12 May 2023 11:01 PM

Older people on a low income have until Friday 19th May[i] to put in a claim for Pension Credit[ii] in order to qualify for the first of three cost-of-living payments to be issued this year.[iii]

Announced as part of the Chancellor’s Spring Budget, this year’s targeted Cost of Living Payment will only be paid to older people in receipt of Pension Credit (and other qualifying benefits).

That’s why Age UK is stepping up its call for people to put in a claim for this essential benefit. Pension Credit tops up the weekly income of a single pensioner to £201.05 or a pensioner couple to £306.85[iv] (or more in some circumstances).  It is entirely separate from the State Pension and comes in two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

Because an application for Pension Credit can be backdated by three months, those who begin the claiming process by Friday 19th May and successfully meet the eligibility criteria, will receive the first £301 cost-of-living payment too.

Despite its considerable financial benefit, a third (34 per cent) of pensioners eligible to claim Pension Credit are still missing out – a huge concern, especially as the cost of living continues to rise. The Government’s own figures show that 770,000 eligible pensioner households (single people or couples) are not receiving their Pension Credit payments, worth around £1.5 billion every year[v] – an average of £1,900 a year, per household.

As well providing a much-needed income boost and automatically qualifying them for the Government’s second year of Cost-of-Living Payments, Pension Credit also opens the door to a wide range of additional support including extra help with energy bills and other essential costs:

  • A one-off payment of £150 (previously £140) through the Warm Home Discount Scheme to help with the cost of energy this winter[vi]
  • A Cold Weather Payment of £25, paid automatically when the average temperature is 0°C or below over seven consecutive days
  • Help with Council Tax and rent
  • Reduced water bills
  • Free NHS dental treatment and help towards the cost of glasses and travel to hospital
  • A free TV licence (if over-75)
  • Cheaper phone and home broadband deals
  • An extra amount of Pension Credit for some carers worth up to £38.85 a week

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “The Government’s cost-of-living support is higher this year – worth up to £900 - so it’s never been more important for older people to see whether they can claim Pension Credit.   

“What many people don’t realise is that Pension Credit can be backdated by three months, so putting in a successful claim now will entitle you to the first £301 cost-of-living payment, as well as opening the door to some valuable extra help with your energy and other bills. 

“We know that around 770,000 pensioner households are still missing out on Pension Credit, and with prices continuing to rise it’s likely they are all struggling to make ends meet. Every single household bill has risen since April, so we’re urging anyone who’s finding it hard to manage financially to get in touch for a benefits check.  A successful Pension Credit claim – worth an average of £1,900 a year per household in addition to the cost-of-living payments – could be life-changing, giving people the confidence to buy the groceries they need, without skimping for fear of running out of money.” 

As part of Age UK’s It Doesn’t Add Up campaign, the Charity is urging 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. Alternatively people can visit or contact their local Age UK for information and advice.

Age UK hosts a free and anonymous Benefits Calculator which can provide an estimate of the benefits that people could be entitled to.

To make a claim for Pension Credit, people should call the DWP Pension Credit claim line direct on 0800 99 1234 or visit  It can be claimed by phone and online.

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Last updated: Feb 05 2024

Notes to editors:

Age UK is a national charity that works with a network of partners, including Age Scotland, Age Cymru, Age NI and local Age UKs across England, to help everyone make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances.

In the UK, the Charity helps more than seven million older people each year by providing advice and support.  It also researches and campaigns on the issues that matter most to older people. Its work focuses on ensuring that older people: have enough money; enjoy life and feel well; receive high quality health and care; are comfortable, safe and secure at home; and feel valued and able to participate.

Age UK’s subsidiary charity, Age International, supports older people globally in over 30 developing countries by funding programmes such as vital emergency relief and healthcare and campaigning to raise awareness and change policies.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and registered company number 6825798). Charitable services are provided through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity’s Community Interest Company (CiC) (registered company number 1102972) which donates its net profits to Age UK (the Charity)


For more information

Contact the Age UK Media team on 020 3033 1430 during office hours (Mon-Fri 08:30-17:30) or for out-of-hours media support please email 

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