The DWP has urged pensioners to check if they are eligible for Pension Credit which could boost their income and entitle them to a £900 cost of living payment.
Pension Credit is thought to be hugely underclaimed, with some 850,000 pensioners missing out on the support.
People may want to check now as there are just 10 days to put in a claim and qualify for the first instalment of a £900 cost of living payment.
As long as a claim is filed before May 19, it can be backdated up to three months as long as the applicant was eligible for the support at that time.
This would then mean they meet the qualifying period for the first instalment of £301 for the cost of living payment.
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The payment is going out to people on certain means-tested benefits, including Universal Credit and Pension Credit.
The second instalment of £300 is going out in autumn 2023 with the third instalment of £299 to go out in spring 2024. The DWP has yet to confirm qualifying dates for these two later instalments.
How much is Pension Credit?
A person can claim Pension Credit if they are of state pension age and on a low income, although a person does not need to be claiming their state pension to receive the support.
The benefit tops up a person’s income to up to £201.05 a week for single claimants and up to £306.85 a week for couples.
Pensions minister Laura Trott said: “Pension Credit can make a real difference and I am determined to make sure this support – worth an average of £3,500 a year – is reaching everyone who needs it, particularly as we know how much pressure households across the country have been under.
“Please check if you or your loved ones can claim for this extra support, and if you do it by May 19 you could qualify for the £301 cost of living payment – giving another financial boost to those who need it most.”
Additional payments are available for claimants who have savings for their retirement, or if other circumstances apply, such as if a claimants care for an adult.
Pension Credit is also known as a gateway benefit as it provides access to other support, such as free TV licences for claimants aged 75 and over.
The state pension age is currently 66 for both men and women – for couple claimants, both people have to be of state pension age to claim the benefit.
The full basic state pension is currently £156.20 a week while the full new state pension pays £203.85 a week.
A person can check their state pension entitlement using the state pension forecast tool on the Government website.
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