The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has warned pensioners only have ten days to claim an additional £324 cost of living payment.
Older people on a low income have until 18 December to put in a claim for Pension Credit to qualify for the second part of the Government’s cost-of-living payment, which is a £324 lump sum.
Announced as part of its original energy support package in May 2022, the Government’s cost-of-living payment will be paid to those in receipt of Pension Credit and other qualifying benefits.
To be eligible for the second lump sum, older people must have been entitled to a Pension Credit payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) in the period between 26 August and 25 September 2022.
Because an application for Pension Credit can be backdated by three months, those who start the claiming process by Sunday December 18 and are successful can meet the eligibility criteria for the extra £324.
Minister for Pensions Laura Trott said: “The run up to Christmas is always a busy time, but one thing to make sure that’s on your list over the coming days is to find out whether you or your loved ones could be eligible for Pension Credit.
“Pension Credit can make a real difference and I am determined to make sure this support – worth an average of £3,500 per year – is reaching everyone who needs it.”
Currently, around 1.4 million pensioners in Britain receive Pension Credit. However, charity Age UK said a third (34%) of pensioners eligible to claim are still missing out.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “Although it’s good news that the state pension and benefits will rise in line with inflation from April, many older people are still extremely worried about staying warm and well over the coming months.
“However, there is a lot of extra support available to help those on the lowest incomes this winter and it’s not too late to claim it.”
She continued: “We know that around 770,000 pensioner households are still missing out on Pension Credit and it’s likely that every one of them is struggling to manage their escalating bills at the moment.
“We’re urging anyone who’s finding it hard to pay for the basics such as food and energy to get in touch for a benefits check – claims must be made by mid-December in order to meet the cut-off date for eligibility for the extra payment.”
To make a claim for Pension Credit, people should call the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) Pension Credit claim line direct on 0800 99 1234 or visit www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim.