Warning to hundreds of thousands of pensioners missing out on £3,500 in free cash – how to claim


THE Department for Work and Pensions is urging hundreds of thousands of pensioners to claim £3,500 in cash.

Pension Credit is a tax-free benefit designed to help with living costs if you are over state pension age and on a low income.

Pension Credit helps cover the cost of living if you are elderly and on a low income


Pension Credit helps cover the cost of living if you are elderly and on a low incomeCredit: Getty

But nearly a million eligible people are missing out on it, according to latest Government figures.

That equates to £1.7billion worth of the benefit going unclaimed.

In a recent post on X, formerly Twitter, the DWP urged households to check if they can make a claim, worth an average of £3,500 a year.

It said: “Could someone you know be eligible for Pension Credit?

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“They could be missing out on an average of £3,500 a year.

“Talk to them about checking their eligibility online today.”

Who is eligible for Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is available to anyone over the state pension age, currently 66, living in England, Scotland or Wales.

But you also have to be on a low income to qualify.

You need to have a weekly income of less than £201.05 if you are single and £306.85 if you are part of a couple.

Your income is calculated based on various elements, including:

  • your state pension entitlement
  • any other pensions (such as private pensions) you have saved
  • any social security benefits you receive, such as carer’s allowance
  • any savings or investments you have worth over £10,000
  • earnings from a job

How much can you get?

There are two parts to the benefit and pensioners can be eligible for one or both parts.

  • Guarantee credit – this tops up your weekly income to a minimum level of £201.05 a week for singletons and £306.85 for married couples.
  • Savings credit – this provides extra money if you’ve saved any towards retirement. You get an extra £15.94 a week for a single person or £17.84 a week for a married couple.

You may also get extra Pension Credit if you have a disability, caring responsibilities or have to pay certain housing costs such as mortgage interest payments.

One major perk of the benefit is that you can get other freebies off of the back of it.

This includes council tax discounts, cost of living payments and a free TV licence, if you’re 75 or older.

The Sun spoke to one woman who is £10,000 better off after claiming the benefit.

How to apply

You can start your application up to four months before you reach state pension age and via the Government’s website.

You can also call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.

You can get a friend or family member to ring for you, but you’ll need to be with them when they do.

Make sure you have the following information on you before applying:

  • National Insurance number
  • Information about any income, savings and investments you have
  • Information about your income, savings and investments on the date you want to backdate your application to (usually three months ago or the date you reached state pension age)
  • your bank, building society or credit union account details
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You can get help applying through charities and non-profit organisations such as Independent Age.

Upon successfully applying, the benefit is usually paid into your bank account every four weeks.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing money-sm@news.co.uk.

You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.

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