Low-income pensioners who might be entitled to pension credit are being urged to make a claim ahead of an upcoming government deadline.
A successful pension credit application made by 19 May 2023 could qualify someone for a £301 cost-of-living support payment.
This is because pension credit claims can be backdated up to three months, provided the relevant entitlement conditions are met during that period.
Tom Selby, head of retirement policy at AJ Bell, comments: “Pension credit is massively underclaimed in the UK, with the government estimating 850,000 eligible pensioners fail to make a claim for the benefit each year. The average pension credit payment is worth over £3,500 a year, according to the DWP – a vital boost for low-income retirees during normal times but even more important with inflation continuing to eat away at household budgets.
“Pension credit is not just a valuable benefit in its own right – it also acts as a gateway to other benefits, such as help with heating costs and free TV licenses. And there is an extra incentive for pensioners to make a pension credit claim by 19 May this year. A successful pension credit claim made by this date also triggers valuable cost-of-living payments, the latest of which is worth £301 to those who are eligible.
“Pension credit claims can be backdated by up to three months, meaning 19 May is the last opportunity to trigger the £301 cost-of-living payment for the period 26 January to 25 February. You only need to be eligible for pension credit for one day during that period in order to qualify for the full £301 payment.
“But receiving the pension credit you are owed and the attached benefits, including the cost-of-living payment, won’t happen automatically – it’s up to you to make a claim if you think you are eligible. You can check your eligibility to claim pension credit online, over the phone or by post. If you are unsure how to go about completing your application, organisations like Age UK and Citizens Advice can help.”