Pension credit is paid to persons who reach state pension age as a top up to low income. A claim can be started up to 4 months before the state retirement date and can include an automatic housing benefit claim if the appropriate box is ticked for help with housing costs.
There are two parts to Pension Credit (which is a non-taxable, income-related benefit) ‘Guarantee Credit’ and ‘Savings Credit’.
This element will top up your weekly income where your income has fallen below £177.10 (for single people) or £270.30 (for couples).
If you have saved up money towards your retirement, for example a pension, you may be able to receive an extra payment. However your eligibility may be affected if you have reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016. The extra payments will be up to £14.04 per week if you are single and up to £15.71 per week if you are in a couple.
You may be eligible for further entitlement if you’re a carer, if you’re severely disabled, have certain housing costs, or if you have responsibility for a child or young person.
You can also check general benefit entitlement at www.turn2us.org.uk
Children and young persons
If you are responsible for a child or young person you may be able to receive the ‘child addition’ with your Pension Credit increasing your entitlement further. You will normally receive £54.60 or £65.10 per week for each child or young person you’re responsible for and if they’re disabled, you may get extra.
Savings rules for over 60's
How to claim Pension Credit
The simplest way to claim pension credit is online.
Telephone - If you are able to, one of the easiest method to apply for Pension Credit, is by telephone. Someone can call on your behalf, but you will need to be present at the time.
A paper application
If you are unhappy with your decision you have the right to challenge it by asking for a mandatory reconsideration. This must be done prior to proceeding to an appeal. You may want to seek specialist advice from a welfare benefits adviser, you could contact your local advice agency.
Changes in circumstances
Assessed Income Periods (AIPs)
Your Pension Credit award letter will say if you have an AIP. This is a period of time when you don't need to report changes to your pensions, savings or investments. However, if your AIP has no end date you must still report changes to your personal circumstances, such as, moving into a care home.