Cash-strapped pensioners are missing out on thousands of pounds – could you claim £1,231?

Pensioner looks worried at bills

Pensioners could be missing out on thousands of pounds they're entitled to get

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Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon


Published: 09/01/2024

- 12:18

Pensioners are being urged to double check their eligibility to state pension age benefits

Cash-strapped pensioner homeowners are missing out on thousands of pounds of extra income by failing to claim their full entitlement to means-tested benefits.

Worryingly, eight in 10 (79 per cent) pensioner homeowners who are eligible to claim extra support are failing to get their entitlement, new research shows.


Each of these households could be missing out on an average £1,231 a year.

A further nine per cent who are claiming extra support are not getting their full entitlement, missing £476 a year on average, according to Just Group’s 14th annual State Benefits insight report.

Man looks worried about finances

The extra support could make a "massive difference" to struggling pensioners

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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.”

Mr Lowe warned their research found the proportion of people eligible for benefits but failing to claim is at its highest since 2014.

The report found the money these households are missing out on is the second largest amount in that 10-year period.

He added: “Nearly four in 10 households in our survey are eligible for one of the key benefits available to pensioners, but the majority are not claiming and even those who are often don’t apply for their full entitlement.

“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 highlighted the importance of checking entitlement prior to taking major financial steps to access cash.

He said: “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.”

In total, a quarter (27 per cent) of those missing out on income were entitled to benefits worth at least £1,000 a year.

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DWP figures show that in 2021/22, 880,000 pensioner families entitled to Pension Credit did not claim, totalling about £2.1billion or around £2,200 a year for each family on average.

Mr Lowe said: “Our take-up figures for homeowners are a little lower than those published by the government, suggesting some people who may think owning a home rules them out of receiving State support.”

People can check their entitlement online for free via independent benefit calculators.

This includes calculators hosted on Turn2us, Policy in Practice, entitledto.

It’s also possible to check with a local benefits adviser to find out about potential entitlements.

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