Britons urged to check eligibility for Pension Credit as ‘time is running out’ to claim extra £299

Britons urged to check eligibility for Pension Credit as ‘time is running out’ to claim extra £299

Britons share their opinion about the state pension triple lock

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 05/03/2024

- 08:36

Pension Credit is a benefit payment which older people on low income may be able to get and is also considered a gateway to more cost of living support

Older Britons are being urged to check their eligibility for Pension Credit as “time is running out” to claim a cost of living payment worth £299.

The deadline someone can apply for the benefit payment and get the one-off financial support on top of Pension Credit is today, March 5.

Last year, the Government rolled out a £900 cost of living payment for those on means-tested benefits with the final instalment of £299 having just been paid.

Those who received Pension Credit during the qualifying period of November 13 to December 12, 2023 can claim the cost of living payment.

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Older couple looking at tablet

Older Britons are being encouraged to check their eligibility for Pension Credit


However, pensioners could still be entitled to this support which has been a lifeline for families during the cost of living crisis.

This is because successful claims for Pension Credit, which is known as a gateway benefit, can be backdated for up to three months.

A person’s income is topped up to a minimum of £201.05 per week for single pensioners and to £306.85 for couples under Pension Credit.

Furthermore, older people could qualify for more if they are already being paid Carer’s Allowance or Attendance Allowance.

Pension Credit is referred to a gateway benefit as it allows retirees access to other support, including help with heating bills and council tax.

Despite this, the support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) remains underclaimed by millions of pensioners.

Helen Morrissey, the head of retirement analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown, warned that “time is running out” for benefit claimants to qualify for the £299 sum.

She explained: “These payments gave a huge boost to people’s stretched budgets last year, but the clock is ticking to qualify for the final payment. People have until March 5 to submit a claim for Pension Credit and if successful they will get this extra boost on top of the benefit.

“Pension Credit plays an important role in topping up the incomes of the poorest pensioners and yet it remains hugely underclaimed with only 63 per cent of families eligible for it actually claiming it.

“Many people believe you can’t claim Pension Credit if you own your own home or have some savings put by but this isn’t the case. On top of the income top up and the cost-of-living payment it opens the doorway to further support such as help with NHS costs, heating bills and council tax.”

Furthermore, over 75s in the UK who are eligible for Pension Credit will also be able to claim a free TV licence. The retirement expert highlighted that the gateway benefit will have a “huge impact on the standard of living” for pensioners who apply for it.

In order to put forward a claim, applicants will need to have the following information about themselves and their partner, if they are applying on their behalf:

  • National Insurance number
  • Information about any income, savings and investments
  • Information about your income, savings and investments on the date you want to backdate your application to (usually three months ago or the date you reached state pension age)
  • Bank account details.

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