State pensioners could be eligible for extra £278 a week – how to claim

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Pension Credit is a financial top-up people can claim to help with living costs and is available through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It is available to those who are of the state pension age or older, which is 66, who are on low income. The DWP payment can also go towards housing costs, including ground rent or service charges.

Couples can make a joint claim for Pension Credit as long as both parties have reached the state pension age.

Every time someone applies for the payment, claimants will have their income calculated. Couples will have their income calculated together.

If someone is single and claiming Pension Credit, their weekly income is topped up to £182.60.

Couples will see their joint weekly income rise to £278.70 when they claim the support from the DWP.

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While the most a couple can claim for the benefit is around £278, there are additional top-up payments to those who are in certain vulnerable groups.

These groups include people who are unpaid carers, disabled or who are responsible for looking after a young person.

Unlike other means-tested benefit payments, someone’s claim for Pension Credit is not dependent on their income, savings or whether they own property.

It should be noted that the additional DWP payment is completely separate to the amount someone gets from the state pension.

To get this support, claimants must be living in either England, Scotland or Wales and be in receipt of the state pension.

Those who are from the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and or Liechtenstein can also get Pension Credit but they need to have settled or pre-settled status in the UK.

While the deadline for either status under the EU Settlement Scheme was June 30, 2021, some people still could be eligible for it and should check the gov.uk website to see if they qualify.

Those who are interested in applying for Pension Credit can begin their claim up to four months before they hit the state pension age.

Once someone turns 66, they are able to apply for the DWP benefit at any time, however their claim will only be backdated by three months.

Claimants will need to provide their National Insurance number, information about their finances and bank account details to the DWP.

Through the gov.uk website, people can apply using the online service which is accessible to those who are already receiving the state pension.

Alternatively, those who want more information on claiming Pension Credit can call the specialised helpline for applicants on 0800 99 1234.

It is also possible to apply for the DWP payment by post, which may suit some people who are not used to applying for things online.

Applicants can print out and fill in the Pension Credit claim form on gov.uk or call the claim line to request a form.

All claim forms must be sent to the Pension Service at the following address:

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