Swindon pensioners urged to check they’re not missing out on Pension Credit

All people of State Pension age in Swindon to check or re-check their eligibility to claim Pension Credit.

Published: Tuesday, 14th June 2022

Several cash notes and coins in a pile
Pension Credit tops up weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level of £182.60 a week for single pensioners or £278.70 for couples. It is a tax-free payment for those who have reached State Pension age, and live in Great Britain. 
The average Pension Credit payment is over £65 per week – equating to more than an extra £3,000 per year.  Pension Credit can also provide access to a range of other benefits such as help with housing costs, council tax, heating bills and, for those aged 75 or over, a free TV licence. 
The Government estimate that up to one million pensioner households – a third of all those eligible - may be entitled to Pension Credit, but do not claim it. This amounts to around £1.7 billion that currently goes unclaimed. People who have an income or savings may still qualify for Pension Credit. 
Residents can check or re-check their eligibility using the online Pension Credit calculator available at: www.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator or by calling Citizens Advice on 0808 278 7813 for one-to-one help to check and with filling in claim forms. Alternatively, they can call the
Government’s Pension Service for help on 0800 99 1234.
The local promotion comes ahead of a national ‘Pension Credit Day of Action’ organised by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on Wednesday 15 June.
The Council has also set up a dedicated web page where residents can find out about the other help and support available to manage rising living costs: www.swindon.gov.uk/costofliving
Councillor Cathy Martyn, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Health Inequalities and Housing, said: “If you, a family member or a friend is of State Pension age, please take a moment to check eligibility for Pension Credit. People can have savings or another pension and still get extra money. Unlike other income-related benefits like Universal Credit, there is no capital cut-off limit and for Pension Credit, savings of under £10,000 are ignored.
“Even if someone only gets a small amount of Pension Credit, it can open the door to receiving other benefits and services like Cold Weather Payments and free dental treatment, so it’s definitely worth a look.” 
Claire Newport, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Swindon, said: “With the Cost of Living really starting to go up, we are joining the campaign to encourage more people to check their entitlement to benefits. We know how hard it is becoming to make ends meet, we are seeing clients every day who are having to make very difficult choices about how they spend their money.
"Our clients are worried about how they will heat their homes this winter, and for many older people on fixed low incomes, Pension Credit could be a lifeline. If you are entitled you might also be able to get additional amounts within Pension Credit; for instance if you receive other benefits for a disability or caring responsibilities.
“The benefits system can be complicated but we have advisers available to help. We would always encourage you to seek advice before applying if your situation is complicated, for instance if your immigration status might preclude you from making a claim.”

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