Pension Credit: Yvonne on living on the breadline
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Many pensioners were relieved to find out the state pension triple lock will return next year. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt told the Commons he would deliver on the pledge to uprate the state pension – with a bumper boost being delivered in 2023.
He said: “The state pension will increase in line with inflation, an £870 increase, representing the biggest ever increase in the state pension.
“To millions of pensioners, I say, now and always, this Government is on your side.”
It means the full new state pension will rise from £185.15 to £203.85 next year.
Some may get less than this if they were contracted out before April 6, 2016.
The basic state pension is set to increase from £141.85 per week to £156.20 weekly.
However, it is not just a rise to the state pension older people could benefit from.
It is thought over 850,000 pensioners are currently missing out on Pension Credit – a vital payment for those on a low income.
According to the DWP, some £1.7billion worth of Pension Credit payments currently lie unclaimed.
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The Department states Pension Credit can be worth an extra £3,300 per year, and so it can be worthwhile checking if one is eligible.
To be eligible, a person must live in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached state pension age.
When applying for the payment, one’s income is calculated to check eligibility.
Pension Credit tops up weekly income to £182.60 for those who are single, and £278.70 jointly for those with a partner.
Some may get extra amounts if they have other responsibilities and costs.
Pension Credit is frequently described as a gateway benefit, because it opens people up to a wide range of support.
This can include a free TV licence for over 75s, help with NHS costs, and Cold Weather Payments.
The payment is made into the bank, building society or credit union account of a person’s choice.
People can start their application up to four months before reaching state pension age.
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The Government website added: “You can apply any time after you reach state pension age but your application can only be backdated by three months.
“This means you can get up to three months of Pension Credit in your first payment if you were eligible during that time.”
Older people will need to have the following information to hand:
- National Insurance number
- Information about any income, savings and investments
- Information about income, savings and investments on the date a person wants to backdate their application to (usually three months ago or the date they reached state pension age).
Individuals should also provide their bank account details.
The DWP explained: “Depending on how you apply, you may also be asked for your bank or building society name, sort code and account number.”
Claims for Pension Credit can be made online, by phone or by post.
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