DWP urges Britons to check if loved ones are missing out on £3,500 a year

Pensioner uses mobile phone

The DWP is urging people to speak to their loved ones about checking if they are eligible for Pension Credit

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 04/09/2023

- 15:29

Hundreds of thousands of people could be missing out on an average of £3,500 per year, plus additional forms of support

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is urging Britons to speak to their family in case they are among the hundreds of thousands of households entitled to Pension Credit but not currently claiming it.

Pension Credit tops up eligible pensioners’ income and can also unlock other discounts and payments, such as council tax reduction.

DWP post about claiming Pension Credit on X, formerly known as Twitter

The DWP posted the Pension Credit message on X, which was formerly known as Twitter


An estimated 850,000 eligible households were not claiming the benefit, according to the DWP’s most recent figures covering 2019/20.

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, today, the DWP said: “Could someone you know be eligible for #PensonCredit? They could be missing out on an average of £3,500 per year.

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

The DWP’s post then directed social media users to visit the Pension Credit page of Gov.uk.

The tweet was published alongside a video, which asked: “Could someone in your family be missing out on Pension Credit? It’s easy to check eligibility and it is worth an average of £3,500 a year. Eligibility criteria apply.”

In addition to other eligibility rules, a person must live in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached state pension age to qualify for the benefit.

It must be claimed, and eligible people can start their application up to four months before they reach their state pension age.

It’s possible to apply any time after reaching state pension age, but it’s only possible to backdate a claim by three months.

People can access a free Pension Credit calculator online via the government website, which can help them work out how much they might get, although not everyone will be able to use this service.

Alternatively, people should contact the Pension Service helpline if they’re not sure if they’re eligible for extra amounts.

DWP sign outside department building

An estimated 850,000 people are eligible for Pension Credit but don't claim it, DWP figures show


How to apply for Pension Credit

There are three ways to apply for Pension Credit – online, by phone or by post.

To apply, a person needs the following details about themselves and their partner if they have one:

  • National Insurance number
  • Information about any income, savings and investments they have
  • Information about their income, savings and investments on the date they want to backdate their application to (usually three months ago or the date they reached state pension age)

Applicants will also need their bank account details.

It’s only possible to apply for Pension Credit via the online service if the person has already applied for the state pension.

People can apply via the Pension Credit claim line, and a friend or family member can call on the claimant’s behalf if they cannot use the phone.

To apply via post, the person needs to print out the Pension Credit claim form or call the claim line to request the form.

Once completed, the claim form then needs to be sent to the Pension Service.

You may like