Grandmother who ‘scrimped and saved’ all her life is now £4,000 better off thanks to ‘lifeline’

Grandmother who ‘scrimped and saved’ all her life is now £4,000 better off thanks to ‘lifeline’

'Pensioners REALLY MATTER': Government reiterates support for the elderly

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 03/02/2024

- 06:00

Pension Credit is one of the many benefit payments available to older people provided by the DWP

A grandmother is calling on older Britons to check to see if they can apply for vital support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which is worth up to the equivalent of £8,000 a year.

Yvonne Bailey, 78, from Witney, Oxfordshire first found out she was eligible Pension Credit, a benefit payment reserved for those on the state pension who are on a low income, 13 years ago.

Currently, Yvonne receives £210 from the state pension with an extra £78 coming into her pocket from Pension Credit. This equates to an extra £4,000 per year.

Speaking exclusively to GB News, she said the DWP benefit is lifeline for pensioners struggling through the cost of living crisis.

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Yvonne Bailey at home with her dog

Pension Credit is a 'gateway benefit' to other financial support, according to Ms Bailey


She explained: “Pension Credit was [enough] when I first got it. It was a great help but this was before the pandemic and the cost of living rise.

“When I got it before, it was great because it a little extra money. I could afford to go out and have a cup coffee with my two best girlfriends. Just have a better social life.”

However, the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent rise in the cost of living has put unprecedented pressure on households, including for Yvonne.

Last week, despite only putting on her heating for three hours, her energy bill for the day came to £45. This is despite being on a “good” deal with her supplier.

“I’m in a one-bedroom bungalow, I’m not in a mansion with hundreds of rooms. That is the cheapest one. I’m on a good tariff,” Yvonne explained.

“The one advantage I can say with Pension Credit is if you’re on the guarantee element, you are entitled to an extra payment of £150 towards your heating during the winter.”

The Warm Home Discount is one of the concessions and support that is linked to Pension Credit, which is often referred to as a “gateway benefit”.

According to Independent Age, receiving Pension Credit can be worth more than £3,300 per year by itself and can be a gateway to up to £8,000 in additional support.

Those entitled to Pension Credit have also been eligible for the £900 cost of living payment for means-tested benefit claimants this financial year, Housing Benefit, a free TV licence if they’re over 75 and a council tax reduction, worth up to £1,000.

While more than three million pensioners are entitled to the benefit, some 880,000 households do not claim it, according to Government figures.

In April, the rate of the DWP benefit will rise by 6.7 per cent, the same increase as other payments such as Universal Credit. This means that it will be worth up to £218.15 a week for single claimants while joint claimants will get £332.95 between them.

However, under the triple lock, the state pension will rise by 8.5 per cent. Yvonne thinks the discrepancy in payment rates is unfair as Pension Credit is meant to help those most in need.

The 78-year-old said: “It should be across the board. It shouldn’t be this, ‘Only you get, and you can’t get that’.

“I’ve scrimped and scraped all my life and I just feel so sad that at this state of my life I’m still scrimping and scraping. Life shouldn’t be like that.”

In a message to other older people and families who are finding it difficult to cope with the cost of living, Yvonne reminded them support is available.

“Please. Apply for Pension Credit. They can only say no. There a lot of people who are not applying and entitled to it,” she said.

Yvonne Bailey, 78, in her home

The 78-year-old is urging other people to look into claiming Pension Credit


How to claim Pension Credit

Claimants can put forward an application for the DWP benefit up to four months before they reach state pension age. It is possible to apply anytime after reaching this age but applications can only be backdated by three months.

Applicants will need to the following information about themselves and their partner:

  • National Insurance number
  • Breakdown of income, savings and investments they currently have
  • Information about the income, savings and investments on the date they wanted backdated to
  • Bank or building society details,

Those looking to claim can start their application online or by calling the Pension Credit phoneline at 0800 99 1234.

It is also possible to apply via post by printing out and filing in a Pension Credit form and sending the application to the below address:

The Pension Service 8
Post Handling Site B
WV99 1AN.

Britons can use benefit calculators to determine how much they could be entitled to from the DWP, including ones provided by charities such as Turn2us, Policy in Practice, entitledto.

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