Pension Credit – an important lifeline for many people in later life

As people grow older, managing finances can become challenging. For many, Pension Credit provides a crucial lifeline, offering financial support to those in later life who need it most. Unfortunately, many people don’t realise they might be eligible for this benefit.

Pension credit is designed to boost the income of pensioners on modest means to help them cover day to day living expenses. Did you know you could claim it even if you own your home or have some savings? It’s worth checking to see if you are entitled to Pension Credit – you might be surprised.

Pension Credit has two elements: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. Guarantee Credit is for those with low incomes, while Savings Credit rewards pensioners who saved for retirement and reached the qualifying age before April 6, 2016. Depending on your situation, you could be eligible for one or both parts.

How Citizens Advice helped Margaret*

If you’re unsure whether you qualify, Citizens Advice can help. Margaret*, a retired schoolteacher, is a perfect example of someone who benefited from our assistance. With her limited pension, she struggled to pay for essentials. Seeking guidance, she contacted her local Citizens Advice office to find out if she could access additional financial support.

Our advisers assessed Margaret’s situation and explained her options. They told her she could apply for Pension Credit online, by phone, or through a paper form. Margaret thought only the paper form would work for her but, due to her eyesight issues, Margaret found filling this filling one out would be challenging. Understanding this, the advisors set up an appointment to help her complete the paperwork, making the entire process smoother. Our advisers also explained that Pension Credit can be backdated for up to 3 months before she applied, if she were eligible during that time. This means she might get up to 3 months of Pension Credit included in her first payment.

Our advisers also informed Margaret that by claiming Pension Credit, she could open the door to other forms of financial support, like Cost of Living Payments, a Budgeting Loan, or Council Tax Reduction. Grateful for the assistance, Margaret said,

“Citizens Advice is a fantastic organisation that helps a great deal. All the staff I had dealings with were both pleasant and efficient. Thank you for helping me.”

Get help with your Pension Credit application

If you think you might be eligible for Pension Credit, Citizens Advice advisers can guide you through the process. We offer free, confidential, and impartial advice to help you understand your eligibility and apply for benefits. Visit our national website to learn more (click here).

Don’t let financial uncertainty stress you out. Contact your local Citizens Advice branch today, and let us help you explore your options for a more secure financial future.

*Not her real name to protect confidentiality

Citizens Advice South West Surrey contact details:

Call Adviceline (free) to speak to an Adviser:

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