Couple astonished to find they were missing out on £7,458 a year – are you eligible for support?

State pension age couple look at bills

A couple contemplating releasing equity from their home had no idea they could claim Pension Credit

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 24/01/2024

- 11:40

Hundreds of thousands of Britons are eligible for support such as Pension Credit but are missing out as they haven't yet made a claim

A couple contemplating releasing equity from their home in order to get by were in fact missing out on an extra £7,458 a year.

The pensioners, who live in Surrey, weren’t claiming any benefits and hadn’t realised they qualified for Pension Credit and a discount on their council tax.

It was only when the pair sought expertise from specialist equity release advisers from HUB Financial Solutions that they realised they could get £143.43 a week.

The advisers found they were eligible for £111.30 a week in Pension Credit and £32.13 a week in Council Tax Reduction.

DWP logo

The DWP is responsible for paying benefits such as Pension Credit, which has to be claimed


Worryingly, eight in 10 (79 per cent) pensioner homeowners eligible to claim benefits are failing to claim anything at all, with each household missing out on £1,231 a year extra each year on average, according to Just Group’s 14th annual State Benefits insight report.

One in 10 (nine per cent) of respondents were claiming but getting too little, missing out on an additional £476 income per year on average.

Stephen Lowe, group director at the retirement specialist Just Group, said: “Every year our research identifies benefits of a very significant value are not being claimed but would make a massive difference to those struggling with soaring living costs.

“Missing out on Pension Credit is particularly problematic because it is the gateway to a host of other benefits such as free NHS dental care, cold weather payments and a free TV licence for over-75s.”

Mr Lowe added: “One of the first steps carried out by specialist equity release advisers from our sister company HUB Financial Solutions is to check if clients are eligible for State Benefits income.

“Ensuring people claim their full benefits entitlement often provides much of the extra income they need, reducing or removing the need to release any funds from their property at that time.”

There are various ways people can check benefits eligibility online to get an idea of the support they could be entitled to.

This can be done via benefits checker tools, which are independent, anonymous and free to use.

This includes tools hosted by Turn2us, Policy in Practice, and entitledto.

It's also possible to check with a local benefits adviser.

You can also check with a local benefits adviser to find out what you could be entitled to.

To use the tools, users will need accurate information about savings, income, existing benefits and pensions, outgoings and council tax bills.

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