Hundreds of thousands of pensioners could get £299 tax-free but there's just days left to act

Pensioner on the phone

Pensioners are being urged to check to see if they qualify for Pension Credit ahead of an upcoming deadline

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 26/02/2024

- 09:44

Updated: 26/02/2024

- 14:41

Low income pensioners could become eligible for the recent £299 cost of living payment but they will need to act quickly

Hundreds of thousands of pensioners could be able to get an extra £299 on top of a vital state pension top-up, but there’s not long left to qualify.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is urging pensioners to check if they are eligible for Pension Credit and to do so quickly.

This is because successfully applying for Pension Credit by March 5, 2024 could mean they are able to get the £299 cost of living payment for those on certain means-tested benefits.

While this cost of living payment has already been paid, Pension Credit can be backdated by up to three months, meaning some could become eligible for the cost of living payment too, provided they were entitled to Pension Credit during the qualifying dates in December 2023.

Pension Credit is a state pension age benefit for those on low income.

Around 1.4 million pensioners currently get Pension Credit, but there are an estimated 880,000 households entitled to it but not yet claiming it.

Minister for Pensions Paul Maynard said: “We are committed to ensuring every pensioner receives the financial support available to them.

“Anyone who is unsure whether they or a loved one is entitled to Pension Credit should quickly check using our online Pension Credit calculator – it’s never been easier.

“Not only could this secure an extra £3,900 every year and unlock a whole host of other support, if successfully claimed by March 5 a further £299 Cost of Living boost is up for grabs.”

Pension Credit guarantees a minimum weekly income of £201.05 for single pensioners who qualify.

It means eligible couples who claim can get a minimum weekly income of £206.85.

People with disabilities or caring responsibilities could also get extra help.

Pension Credit is a gateway benefit, meaning those who receive the support could also get help with housing costs, council tax and heating bills.

DWP logo in pictures

The DWP is urging people to check to see if they are among 880,000 households entitled to Pension Credit but not claiming it


How to apply for Pension Credit

It’s possible to claim Pension Credit over the phone, online or by post.

The helpline, 0800 99 1234, is open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

The DWP has launched an online Pension Credit calculator which can offer some guidance on whether someone is eligible and how much they could get.

Users will need details of their earnings, benefits and pensions as well as information about savings and investments.

If they have a partner, they will need to provide the same details.

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