Checking your eligibility for Pension Credit, could make big difference with how you cope with the increases in the cost of living.

Hundreds of thousands of pensioners could be missing out on the benefits they are entitled to.

Family and friends encouraged to help them claim.

Not checking your eligibility for Pension Credit could according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), mean around 850,000 pensioner households are failing to claim a total of £1.7 billion in retirement benefits.

Those in receipt of Pension Credit can also receive other support, including grants to help with the rising cost of energy bills.

Guy Opperman, the pensions minister, said:

“We recognise the challenges some pensioners will be facing with the cost of living, which is why promoting Pension Credit is a priority.

“We’re calling on everyone with retired family, friends and loved ones to check in with them and see if they can get this extra financial support, which could make a huge difference.”

Around 1.4 million people claim Pension Credit, a state benefit paid to those above state pension age who have a low income.

Pension Credit is designed to guarantee a minimum income and help with the cost of living.

How to claim Pension Credit

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The benefit is paid as a top-up to weekly incomes, making them £182,60 for a single person or £278.70 for a couple.

Those who receive Pension Credit automatically receive additional support, including housing benefits, a council tax discount, help with NHS dental treatment, glasses and transport costs, and a free TV licence (for the over 75s).

There is additional financial support to help with gas and electricity bills this year.

The Warm Home Discount scheme is available to those receiving Pension Credit, providing energy bill reductions in the winter.

Michael Clarke, from advice charity Turn2us, said:

“Pension Credit can act as a vital lifeline for people aged 66 and over who might be on a low income and it is crucial for people to find out whether they are eligible to claim.

“The impact of the cost of living crisis cannot be underestimated and in the coming months, additional sources of income will be a huge help for people to weather this financial storm.”