Did you know that around a third of people who could be entitled to Pension Credit do not claim it? You could be missing out on extra money – read on for more information!
There are two types of Pension Credit: Guarantee Pension Credit and Savings Pension Credit. Some people get one or the other and some people can get both.
Guarantee Pension Credit
Guarantee Pension Credit is a benefit which people of Pension Credit Age can claim; it tops up your income to a minimum level. It is much more generous than the working age means-tested benefits. Even if you are only entitled to a small amount, the good news is that you automatically qualify for maximum help with your rent too!
What is Pension Credit age?
Pension Credit age is gradually increasing: in December 2018 it was 65 and by September 2020 it will be 66. You must have reached Pension Credit age to be able to claim Pension Credit. If you are not sure when you reach Pension Credit age, you can use the gov.uk website to check when you will. See:
What if my partner has reached Pension Credit age but I haven’t?
New rules for ‘mixed age couples’ took effect from 15th May 2019. Most mixed age couples will not be able to make a new claim for Pension Credit. However there are exceptions. For instance if you are getting Housing Benefit under the pension age Regulations, then you can make a new claim for Pension Credit. Or if you haven’t been claiming benefits and can have a claim for Pension Credit backdated to before 15th May 2019.
IMPORTANT: Most mixed age couples are significantly worse off on Universal Credit. If you are a mixed age couple and told to claim UV get advise first – there may be another option!
How much could I get?
Guarantee Pension Credit tops up your income to a certain level. The amount you could get depends on whether you are single or a couple and whether you have certain circumstances that mean you need more money to live on. Because it is a top-up benefit, the amount you can get also depends on the amount and type of other income you receive and the level of any savings you have above £10,000.
How do I make a claim?
The easiest way to make a claim is by ringing the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.
Savings Pension Credit
Savings Pension Credit is for people who reached 65 before 6th April 2016.
People who were already getting their State Pension, or who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, can still make a claim for Savings Pension Credit. However, if they are a member of a couple and the younger one reaches State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, they will not have access to Savings Pension Credit unless they have already been awarded it before this date and have remained continuously entitled to it since then.
Help with dependent children
Since 1st February 2019 Pension Credit has included extra amounts for claimants who are responsible for children. They receive this rather than making a new claim for Child Tax Credit.
Anyone who is already getting Child Tax Credit will continue to do so, for as long as they remain entitled.
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