Daily Express

Just ten days left to claim pension cash

- By Michael Knowles Home Affairs Editor

STRUGGLING pensioners were last night warned they have only 10 days left to claim extra cash to support them through the cost-of-living crisis.

About 850,000 retirees are being urged to sign up for pension credit by May 19 – and get a financial boost.

The Department for Work and Pensions said the benefit is worth an average £3,500 a year for pensioners.

The Government is also offering an additional £301 cost-of-living payment to those who successful­ly claim by May 19, as part of its efforts to prioritise the needs of older people.

Money Saving Expert, founded by personal finance guru Martin Lewis, said it is a “national tragedy” that so many people are not claiming the extra money, as it also opens up other benefits to pensioners.

Pensions minister Laura Trott, in a direct appeal to Daily Express readers, urged people to check with their friends and family that they are signed up before the deadline.

There are other bonuses that come with claiming pension credit, including cold weather payments, free NHS dental treatment and a free TV licence. Ms Trott told the Daily Express: “I am determined to make sure pensioners on low incomes are getting all the support they can with the cost of living, particular­ly as we know how much pressure households across the country have been under.

“So, if you think you or a loved one could be eligible, check out our online calculator.”

Pension credit is available to people over state pension age with a weekly income of less than £201.05 as a single person or £306.85 as a couple.

Mr Lewis said: “I’ve long been saying there are one million pensioners in the UK eligible for it who do not claim it. It’s an absolute tragedy.

“They’ve paid into the system for all of their lives and they’re not getting this important top-up.”

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “Having limited money in later life really impacts day to day living, so it’s never been more important for older people to check whether they are receiving all the money they’re entitled to.

“There is a lot of extra support available to help those on the lowest incomes this year and it’s not too late to make a claim.

“There are many reasons why older people don’t claim, including lack of awareness, worries about filling in long forms or disclosing personal informatio­n, or being determined not to ask for help, even though they badly need it.

“We’re urging anyone who is struggling financiall­y to get in touch with Age UK for a free benefits check.

“It could make a huge difference to the rest of their lives.”

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