What is Pension Credit?
Pension Credit is an income-related benefit aimed at anyone over the State Pension age (currently rising from 65 to 66 for both men and women). It offers older people a weekly top-up to their income.
Nearly four million people are eligible for Pension credit – but a third of those fail to claim it, often because they don’t realise they’re entitled to it. Even if you are only entitled to a small amount of Pension Credit, it’s still worth claiming it as it can enable you to qualify not only for a TV licence-fee exemption but also for other benefits and for help with Council Tax.
To qualify for Pension Credit
- You must live in Great Britain
- You must have reached State Pension age
- Your weekly income must be below £167.25 (for single people) or £255.25 (for couples)
Working out your income
When you apply for Pension Credit your income is worked out. This includes:
- State Pension (whether claimed or not)
- Other pensions
- Most state benefits, e.g. Carer’s Allowance
- Savings or investments over £10,000 (they will add £1 to your weekly income for every £500 or part of £500 over £10,000)
The calculation does not include:
- Attendance Allowance
- Christmas Bonus
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Reduction
If you’re registered for Self Assessment, you must tell the Pension Service how much Income Tax you expect to pay for the current tax year, as this affects how much Pension Credit you’ll get.
How do I claim Pension Credit?
The quickest way to claim Pension Credit is to call the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234.
You will need:
- Your National Insurance (NI) number
- Information about your income, savings and investments
- Your bank account details
You can always make a paper application if you’re unable to claim by phone. You can get a friend or family member to call the helpline to ask for a paper application form.
The earliest you can start your application is four months before you reach Pension Credit qualifying age. You can claim any time after you reach Pension Credit qualifying age, but your claim can only be backdated for three months.
Even if you do not receive Pension Credit you can still qualify for a free TV Licence:
- If you live in a residential home
- If you are registered blind (severely sight-impaired) you qualify for a half-price licence.
Here to help
If you need any help with Pension Credit or any other issues please contact Luke Pollard MP on 01752 717255, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Luke’s office at 13 Frankfort Gate in the city centre near the Market. You can find more information about Luke’s campaigns on his website www.lukepollard.org