The Department for Work and Pensions is asking old age people and low-income workers to claim their pension credits for the year. In an effort to fight the rising cost of living for households, the government has increased the credits by 10.1% for next year.
In preparation for the winter, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that it is offering up to £3,500 in additional Pension Credit to over 11 million eligible pensioners across the country. The income top-up is part of the government’s efforts to curb the higher costs of living that has been affecting British households since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pension Credit is a system designed to help citizens that are above pension age and on low-income wage with daily/weekly living costs that are paid out on a monthly basis. Applicants need not be recipients of state pensions to receive the income credit. At present, a minimum of £182.60 is added to the income of single pensioners and £278.70 to that of couples per week.
The government body is urging eligible parties to check if they qualify to receive an annual income top-up worth £3,500 throughout December and the new year. DWP also reminded that those who make new Pension Credit claims before December 18, 2022, will be in line to receive a backdated cost of living payment for up to three months that is worth £324.
According to statistics by Daily Record, between April and October of this year, DWP received an estimated 149,579 Pension Credit claims. The department has processed 118,598 of those applications. During his Autumn Statement in November, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that the Rishi Sunak government has increased the credits by 10.1% which will be in effect from April 2023. This will raise the current rates to £201.05 and £306.85 per week for single and couple pensioners respectively on top of a 10.1% increase to State Pension.
Britons can check if they are eligible for added income using the government’s Pension Credit Calculator or by calling the helpline on 0800 99 1234. The calculator will provide applicants with information on whether they qualify for the credit and how much they may be entitled to receive. The credit system offers a wide range of benefits to pensioners, such as house rent allowance and mortgage interest support on property owned by pensioners through Housing Benefits; discount on Council Tax; free TV license to those over 75; NHS hospital care; Warm Home Discount scheme to help with heating charges during winters; and discount on Royal Mail redirection service when moving homes.
However, there are criteria where Pension Credit can be denied, like when a person or their partner postpone their state pension; own more than one property; are self-employed; have service charges or Crown Tenant rent on their homes which are not covered under Housing Benefit as mortgage or rent, and are mixed aged older couples where one person is above and the other is below state pension age.