Are you past the State Pension age and finding it hard to make ends meet? If so, Pension Credit might be the solution you are looking for. Let’s start discussing everything related to this article.
What we are going to discuss
|A benefit for people over State Pension age which tops up their income if they’re struggling to make ends meet. It comes in two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
|Tops up the weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level. In 2023-24, this level is £201.05 for singles and £306.85 for couples.
|Extra money for people who have some savings or income higher than the basic State Pension. It’s only available to people who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016. In 2023-24, the maximum amount is £15.94 for singles and £17.84 for couples.
|New rules from 15 May 2023
|To be eligible for Guarantee Credit, both partners of a couple will need to be over State Pension age, or one of them needs to have reached State Pension age and claim Housing Benefit for them as a couple. This could affect some couples who could lose up to £7,000 a year compared to current rules.
Introduction to Pension Credit
Pension Credit is a financial lifeline designed to help those over the State Pension age who are living on a low income. This benefit is available even if you have other sources of income, savings, or assets. It is important to note that Pension Credit is separate from your State Pension and comes in two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
By claiming a Pension Credit, you might also become eligible for other benefits, such as assistance with health and housing costs.
Eligibility for Pension Credit
The eligibility requirements for Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit differ:
Guarantee Credit Eligibility
You might be eligible for Guarantee Credit if you have reached the State Pension age, currently 66 for both men and women. You can claim Guarantee Credit if your weekly income is less than £201.05 if you are single or £306.85 if you are a couple.
Even if your weekly income is higher than these thresholds, you could still claim Guarantee Credit if you meet one of the following criteria: you have a severe disability, you are a carer, or you have to pay housing costs, such as a mortgage.
Savings Credit Eligibility
Savings Credit is an additional benefit for those who have some savings or if your income is higher than the basic State Pension. It is available to individuals who reached the State Pension age before 6 April 2016. In 2023-24, you could receive up to £15.94 extra per week if you are single or £17.84 extra per week if you are a couple. While there is not a savings limit for Pension Credit, having over £10,000 in savings will affect how much you receive.
Who can claim Pension Credit?
However, the eligibility criteria for Guarantee Pension Credit and Savings Pension Credit differ. To claim Guarantee Pension Credit, you must be of State Pension age. For couples, both partners must usually have reached State Pension age. If only one partner is of State Pension age, the situation gets complex, so it is advisable to use a Benefits Calculator to check your eligibility.
Savings Pension Credit can be claimed by individuals aged 65 or over, provided they reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016. For more information on whether couples can qualify, it’s best to refer to the Gov.UK website.
How to Claim Pension Credit
To claim Pension Credit, you can either claim online on GOV.UK (if you already claim State Pension and there are not any children or young people included in your claim) or call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234. They can fill out the application for you over the phone.
It is helpful to have your National Insurance number, bank account details, information about your income, savings and investments, details of any housing costs, and your partner’s details, if applicable, before you get started.
Additional Benefits of Claiming Pension Credit
Claiming Pension Credit doesn’t just increase your income, it could also help you get other benefits. Have a look:
Health Cost Assistance
You will get free NHS dental treatment, and you can get help with the cost of glasses and transport to the hospital. If you’re a carer, you might get an extra amount known as Carer Addition, which is worth up to £42.75 a week. If you have a disability, you may get an extra amount known as Severe Disability Addition, which is worth up to £76.40 a week.
Housing Cost Assistance
You probably will not have to pay Council Tax (unless other people live with you). If you rent your home, you might get your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit. If you own your home, you might be eligible for help with mortgage interest, ground rent, and service charges.
So, Pension Credit can provide a much-needed financial boost for low-income people who have reached State Pension age. By understanding the eligibility criteria and how to apply, you can ensure you are receiving the support you are entitled to.
Are you over State Pension age and struggling financially?
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has recently launched a 12-week campaign to raise awareness about Pension Credit. Advertisements will be displayed in GP surgeries and post offices, urging individuals to check if they are eligible for this benefit. Surprisingly, 40% of eligible seniors are not claiming this benefit.
Guarantee Pension Credit supplements your weekly income if it is low, while Savings Pension Credit provides an additional payment to those who have made some savings or income provisions for their retirement. You know the best thing is that you can claim Pension Credit whether you’re still working or not, and there’s no need for any national insurance contributions.
Pension Credit: New Rules Coming In This May
According to Age UK, homeowners may still be eligible for Pension Credit. In fact, nearly 90% of claims are successful, and 2.5 million households across the UK receive Pension Credit.
However, it is important to note that new rules coming into effect this May will change the eligibility criteria for couples. So, if you are eligible, it is advisable to act now as some couples could lose up to £7,000 a year.
Until 14 May 2019, couples can apply if one partner has reached the pension credit qualifying age. From 15 May, both partners will normally need to be over the state pension age, or one partner needs to have reached the state pension age and claim housing benefits for the couple.
Existing claims will not be affected, provided you receive pension credit on or before 14 May 2019 and continue to be eligible.
Pension Credit is a weekly benefit designed to boost your income based on your total income. It comprises Guarantee Credit, which tops up your weekly income to a minimum amount, and Savings Credit, a small top-up for those with a modest amount of income or savings. However, Savings Credit is only available if you reached the State Pension age before 6 April 2016.
Eligibility for Pension Credit is determined by your income (including your savings and the value of any property you own) and your age. You can still be working, but you must be living in the UK. If you have been living abroad and wish to claim Pension Credit, you will need to pass the habitual residence test. Non-UK or Irish nationals will need to show they have a right to reside.
Working out your Pension Credit
Unlike the State Pension, there’s no need for a national insurance record to claim Pension Credit. To find out if you are of qualifying Pension Credit age, you can use the Pension Credit calculator on GOV.UK. This will ask for your date of birth.
In conclusion, Pension Credit can be a significant financial aid for those struggling in their retirement years. If you think you might be eligible, do not hesitate to check and apply; it could make a world of difference.
Pension Credit: A Helping Hand for Those in Need
If you have reached the State Pension age and are finding it tough to get by, Pension Credit could be the helping hand you need. However, before you apply, it is important to get your ducks in a row.
Start by taking stock of your weekly income. This could be money from a private pension, the State Pension, earnings from your job or self-employment, or benefits like Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
Next, look at your savings and investments. This includes any property you own (apart from your main home), shares, other investments, and money in bank or savings accounts. Keep in mind that if your savings or investments total more than £10,000, it will affect the amount of Pension Credit you can get. For every £500 you have over £10,000, you will be seen as having an extra £1 per week of income.
Now, let us talk about Guarantee Credit. If your weekly income is less than £163, Guarantee Credit will bring it up to that level. For couples, if your combined income is less than £248.80, it will be brought up to that level. Moreover, do not worry, you do not have to be married to claim as a couple. You can still claim if one of you is at State Pension age and the other is not.
Your income can be more than £163 or £248.80 if you are eligible for extra amounts like the severe disability or carer’s addition. It can also be higher if you are paying a mortgage.
Check if you can get additional amounts
If you are receiving other benefits, such as Disability Living Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, or Attendance Allowance, your weekly Guarantee Credit amount can go over the minimum income threshold of £163. If you are eligible, you could receive an extra amount for severe disability of £64.30 a week.
Carers could get an extra £36.00 a week if you or your partner receive Carer’s Allowance or have claimed for it and meet its conditions.
Check if you can get Savings Credit
Savings Credit is the second part of Pension Credit. It’s only available if you reach state pension age before 6 April 2016. The amount you can get depends on whether you meet the ‘savings credit threshold.’
You must have a weekly income of at least £140.67 a week if you are single or £223.82 a week if you are claiming as a couple. The most you can get from Savings Credit is £13.40 a week if you are single or £14.99 if you are claiming as a couple.
Before you apply, it is a good idea to use the Pension Credit calculator on GOV.UK. This will tell you whether or not you are eligible and how to apply. You can apply up to four months before you want to start receiving Pension Credit.
In conclusion, Pension Credit can be a lifeline for those on a low income who have reached State Pension age. By understanding the eligibility criteria and how to apply, you can make sure you are getting the support you are entitled to. So why wait? Check if you are eligible today and take the first step towards a more secure future.
For more such amazing updates, stay tuned with us.