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Age Gap Tax

The UK Government has recently changed the Pension Credit eligibility criteria for those in mixed age couples meaning fewer people can now claim. The 13th of August is the last day you’ll be able to make a backdated claim based on the old criteria.

We don’t want anyone to miss out on money they’re entitled to – so please call the Age Scotland helpline now to find out if you’re eligible and for a free benefit and entitlements check on 0800 12 44 222.

Pension Credit is a massively underclaimed and important benefit for older people. Nearly 4 in 10 people who are eligible don’t claim for a variety of reasons and as such more than £330million each year stays in the government’s pocket rather than those of some of Scotland’s lowest income pensioners.

Pension Credit is a top-up benefit for older people who are on a low pension income. For those on a State Pension lower than the basic level, Pension Credit tops up their income to £167.25 per week for single people, or £255.25 for couples.

Unfortunately, eligible people do not automatically receive Pension Credit; they must apply for it – and it’s already hugely underclaimed. And what’s more, receipt of other benefits including some housing benefit, council tax reduction and cold weather payments depends on receipt of Pension Credit… so those not claiming Pension Credit could lose out on even more.

What exactly has changed?

Before 14 May 2019, a couple could apply for Pension Credit when the older partner reached State Pension Age. However, since 14 May 2019, the rules state that a couple can only apply once the younger partner reaches State Pension Age. 

Who is affected by this change?

People who are already receiving Pension Credit need not worry – they will keep receiving it.

However, we believe there are thousands of people in Scotland who qualified under the old criteria, but have not yet applied and could miss out. Any couple in this category must make a backdated claim by 13 August 2019 or risk losing out on more than £7,000 per year, plus other important benefits.

How Age Scotland can help

Age Scotland’s free Helpline is on hand to provide support. Our helpline advisers can offer callers a free benefit and entitlements check to see if people are getting everything that they are entitled to and advise on how to claim Pension Credit.

Our Helpline is free to call and is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm on 0800 12 44 222.

Find out more about Pension Credit

You can find out more information in our guide to Pension Credit.

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