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One week to go for Pension Credit claims to receive extra £650

Published on 11 August 2022 06:03 AM

Age Scotland is calling on pensioners living on a low State Pension to act quickly to check their eligibility for Pension Credit and apply ahead of next week’s cut off point, to avoid losing out on an extra £650 of financial support which could help with rising energy bills.

Pensioners on low incomes have until next Thursday, August 18, to put in a claim for Pension Credit to the Department of Work and Pensions if they want to qualify for the UK Government’s extra payment to help towards the rising cost of living.

You may be eligible for Guaranteed Pension Credit if your weekly income is less than £182.60 if you are single, or £278.70 for couples.

Scotland’s national charity for older people is urging anyone in receipt of a State Pension facing financial hardship due to higher energy bills and the cost of living who is not already in receipt of Pension Credit to make sure they submit a claim before the deadline.

The £650 payment, announced by the UK Government back in May, will be paid to those who receive Pension Credit in two lump sums of £326 and £324. The first was due to be paid last month and the second in the autumn. New, successful applicants will receive the full £650.

To receive the extra payment, older people must have been entitled to claim Pension Credit between April and May this year. However, anyone beginning a successful application for Pension Credit before August 18 will still be entitled to both the benefit and the extra payment because the application can be backdated by three months.

Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, said:

“With growing numbers of older people in Scotland struggling to cope with the rising cost of living, it is vital that those on the lowest incomes receive everything they are entitled to.

“Every year in Scotland hundreds of millions of pounds in social security payments go unclaimed by older people due to a lack of awareness, difficultly in accessing them, stigma surrounding benefits or just not knowing where to turn for help.

“Pension Credit is not only an essential benefit, but it opens the door to much more additional support including help with energy bills in the winter, a free TV licence for over-75s, help with rent and council tax reduction, free dental care and reduced water bills.

“We want every older person to get every penny of support they can, but worryingly we know that around 123,000 eligible low-income pensioners in Scotland are not claiming Pension Credit.

“Now with just over a week to go before the deadline for getting the extra cost of living payment, we are urging all pensioners on a low income to act quickly and start the application process. We don’t want to see anyone miss out an extra £650 at such a challenging time for older people.

“Call our free helpline on 0800 12 44 222. One of our advisers can carry out a full benefits check and help you start the application process. You can also check if you might be eligible through our website’s free benefits calculator at www.age.scot/benefitscalculator.”

“Time is running out but if you act now, we can help.”

Helen Morrison from Glasgow, who is in her mid-seventies, receives Pension Credit and is encouraging people on low State Pensions to check their eligibility and claim.

“It really makes a difference and while it tops up my low state pension, it also means I am eligible for help with my rent, council tax and energy costs. At a time like this with almost all of our bills going up so fast, it is really important that older people see what they could be due and claim it.

“Too many people are missing out so please don’t sit there struggling. Get the information by picking up the phone to organisations like Age Scotland to see what you could be entitled to. I know it can be hard to take that step, but there is no shame in claiming because you have earned it. Don’t go cold or go hungry because it’s yours and it really helps.”

-- Ends --

Notes to editors:

  • Age Scotland's free online benefits calculator is available at www.age.scot/benefitscalculator.
  • Copies of Age Scotland's free information guide to Pension Credit can be downloaded from their website at www.age.scot/PensionCredit, and paper copies can be requested via the 0800 12 44 222 helpline.

Contact Age Scotland's media team:

Age Scotland provides a seven day a week response service to media enquiries through a dedicated telephone line and email.

 

Last updated: Jan 02 2023

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