Pensioners could get help with housing costs and council tax reduction of up to 100%

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Therese Coffey outlines the benefits of Pension Credit scheme

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Many retired individuals will be juggling their finances as they have lost income from employment. For this reason, large numbers turn towards the state pension to provide them with a regular source of funds. What some are unaware of, however, is that they could be eligible for further Government support.

This is made available through the system of Pension Credit – which tops up finances for low income pensioners.

But it is not only this payment which can provide support to older people who need it.

Pension Credit is often viewed as a “gateway benefit”, in that it can open Britons up to a wider range of support.

Indeed, as Age UK has flagged, those in receipt of Pension Credit could get help with the cost of housing.

Housing costs can be a regular drain on a person’s income, and they can often involve significant amounts of money.

For this reason, low income people may struggle in other aspects of their life just to meet these vital payments.

Recipients of Pension Credit could get an extra amount to cover their housing costs.

The Government explains this could be for:

  • Ground rent, if a property is a leasehold
  • Some service charges
  • Charges for tents and site rent.

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But what a person actually receives in the form of support will depend on their actual housing costs.

Age UK also states if a person rents their home, they could get their rent paid in full by Housing Benefit.

Additionally, recipients of Pension Credit may also be eligible for a council tax reduction.

A council tax reduction could provide significant support to older individuals, and it may even reduce a bill by 100 percent in some circumstances.

Citizens Advice explains: “Your local council will ask you details about your income and your circumstances, so they can work out if you’re entitled to council tax reduction (CTR). 

“They will then work out your new bill and tell you how much council tax you need to pay.

“If you’re awarded CTR, you won’t normally get an actual payment. 

“The council will reduce the amount of council tax you have to pay.”

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To get this kind of support, Britons usually need to prove they are “habitually resident” in the UK. 

The organisation also references state pension age rules which may apply in this circumstance.

Individuals usually need to have less than £16,000 in savings and property – called “capital” – to be eligible. 

However, people can get a council tax reduction with more than £16,000 in savings and property, as long as they get the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit.

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