Over 66s encouraged to access unclaimed pension credit to boost income
People of state pension age are being urged to check if they are entitled to Pension Credit as new data reveals 7% of over 65s say they are close to a financial crisis.
Findings from a recent YouGov poll of 2033 UK adults, of which 535 were over 65, commissioned by the national poverty charity, Turn2us, also found that 22% of people over the age of 65 say they feel more anxious as a direct result of the rising cost of living.
In addition, 48% say they would not know how to get support from an organisation offering advice around finances and debt.
Currently, around 2.5 million people aged over 66 are entitled to Pension Credit to top up their retirement income* - yet around 30% of those who qualify aren’t claiming it. According to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), this equated up to an estimated £1.7bn being left unclaimed in 2019/20.
Turn2us is urging people to use its Benefits Calculator to find out what they could be entitled to claim to help alleviate any financial burden which they might face.
Michael Clarke, Head of Information Programmes at Turn2us says: “Pension Credit can act as a vital lifeline for people aged over 66 who might be on a low income and it is crucial for people to find out whether they are eligible to claim.
“The impact of the cost-of-living crisis cannot be underestimated and in the coming months, additional sources of income will be a huge help for people to weather this financial storm. By using the Turn2us Benefits Calculator, people can find out if there is extra support out there for them or their loved ones, so we urge people to do a financial health check on our website.”
Morgan Vine, Head of Policy & Influencing at Independent Age added: “We know Pension Credit has the potential to lift 440,000 older people out of poverty, yet it still has the lowest uptake of any income-related benefit. Too many people in later life are still having to choose whether to heat their home or buy food, despite being eligible for this financial support.
“Pension Credit is a gateway to other financial support, and we estimate that if someone received all the additional money that Pension Credit provides a springboard to, they could get up to £7,000 a year more money in their pocket.
“As the unprecedented rise in the cost-of-living continues to hit hard and push more older people to crisis point, it has never been more important for the money set aside to reach the people who need it.”
Pension Credit aims to bring additional support to people's income, on top of their state pension and can also be a ‘passport’ to other benefits. These include council tax reductions, the Warm Home Discount, and Housing Benefit. For people aged 75 and over, they are also eligible for a free TV licence as part of the support.
Today (15/06), the DWP is encouraging older people over 66 to find out if they are entitled to Pension Credit and make a claim.
People wishing to find out if they are entitled to Pension Credit can do so via the Turn2us Benefits Calculator