Local MP Drew Hendry and Age Scotland are calling on pensioners in Inverness, Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey with incomes of less than £200 per week to apply for Pension Credit before 19 May to boost their pension and ensure they receive the next instalment of the cost-of-living support payment from the UK Government.
People who receive Pension Credit are eligible for the latest cost-of-living payment of £301, but time is running out for an estimated 1,000 pensioner households in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey who aren’t yet claiming what they are entitled to.
Pension Credit is a social security entitlement which provides pensioners on a low income with extra money and other helpful support. It can top up their weekly income to £201.05 if they are single, and £306.85 if they are making a joint claim with a partner. Claiming Pension Credit also entitles people to additional support with council tax bills, rent, and energy costs and grants them a free TV licence if they are over the age of 75.
Applications for Pension Credit should be made before 19 May by calling the Department for Work and Pensions on 0800 99 1234, or online at www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim. Successful applications will then receive an extra £301 cost-of-living support payment.
Age Scotland can offer advice on Pension Credit eligibility, how to claim and a free information guide by calling their helpline on 0800 12 44 222, or on their website at www.age.scot/PensionCredit. Their online benefits calculator can also offer a quick indication of what you could be missing out on at www.age.scot/benefitscalculator
Drew Hendry MP said:
“It’s vital that everyone here in the constituency is claiming everything they are entitled to, especially given the huge cost-of-living pressures we are facing. Pension Credit can make a big difference to pensioners on low and fixed incomes, and this extra £301 could a long way to help with these immediate pressures.
“If you receive the State Pension and your total income is less than £201.05 per week, then you could get this extra payment, boost your pension, and get help with council tax, rent and energy bills. Please act fast and put in a claim.
“I’m hosting a series of online workshops next week with Change Mental Health, Social Security Scotland, and Age Scotland to ensure folk get the help and support they are entitled to. If you think you or someone you know could benefit from help from any of these organisations, please do log on and find out more. Details can be found here https://www.drewhendrymp.scot/virtual-workshops .”
Age Scotland’s Chief Executive, Mark O’Donnell, said:
“Across Scotland there are more than 100,000 pensioner households with the lowest incomes missing out on such an important entitlement. Unfortunately, hundreds of millions of pounds in social security payments still go unclaimed by older people in Scotland every year due to a lack of awareness, difficultly in accessing them, stigma surrounding benefits or just not knowing where to turn for help.
“With rising levels of pensioner poverty and fuel poverty in Scotland, it’s critical that every pound someone is entitled to gets into their pocket.
“We’d urge anyone who thinks they may be eligible for Pension Credit to act quickly and submit an application before 19 May directly with the Department for Work and Pensions. Please also check in with older friends and family members to let them know about Pension Credit to ensure they are not missing out on vital support which they are entitled to.”