UP to a MILLION pensioner households are being warned they could miss out on the government’s £650 cost of living payment.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday announced a £10billion rescue package to help households through the cost of living crisis.
1Rishi Sunak making his announcement in the House of Commons yesterdayCredit: AP
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Sunak said on average each UK household would get £550.
The biggest announcements were:
Among the help revealed is a one-off £650 payment for more than 8 million people on means-tested benefits, including universal credit, pensions credit, housing benefit, jobseekers’ allowance and income support.
But Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter, said up to a million pensioner households who are not claiming pension credits may miss out out on the £650 payment.
“According to Age UK, nearly a million pensioner households are entitled to but do not receive normal Pension Credits and so could miss out on the additional £650 payment,” he said.
Pension credit is designed to help retirees on a low income by giving them extra money to help with living costs.
How much you get depends on your specific circumstances, including whether you have a partner, if you’re disabled, and whether you have caring responsibilities for young children.
The maximum basic allowance is currently £182.60 for single people and £278.70 for couples.
But DWP figures from February 2022 show there were 72,000 fewer recipients of normal pension credits than in the previous year.
Retirees need to actively claim Pension Credits – the benefit is not paid automatically.
And many people miss out as a result. Some pensioners are not aware of the benefit, don’t think they would qualify, or are reluctant to claim help.
Mr Greer said: “However, the message is clear: if you don’t claim the credit, you won’t get the help and the government needs to look at how they can publicise it effectively to qualifying pensioners.
“Even Sunak in his speech recognised that people would still fall through the cracks and not benefit from this policy even if eligible.”
Under Rishi’s package of help, pensioners will still receive a £300 one-off payment to help with bills.
They are also set for a pay rise next year, as the triple lock is reintroduced – it could mean State Pension goes up by 10%.
But Mr Greer said: “However, until then, pensioners are suffering one of the worst disparities in their income versus the inflation rate ever.
“As the cold weather draws in after the summer and the huge rises in energy prices really start to bite, times will no doubt be incredibly tough for everyone, and this one off payment is laudable move from the government.”
Mr Sunak’s announcements in the House of Commons came after inflation hit a forty-year high of 9% meaning the cost of living is gong up at a much faster rate than benefits payments.
How do you claim pension credits?
You can start your application for pension credits up to four months before reaching State Pension age.
You need the following information to be able to apply:
National Insurance number
Information about any income, savings and investments you have
Information about your income, savings and investments on the date you want to backdate your application to (usually 3 months ago or the date you reached State Pension age)
You’ll also need your bank account details. Depending on how you apply, you may also be asked for your bank or building society name, sort code and account number.
You can apply by phone or by post.
You can find more information about Pension Credit on the Government’s website.
We pay for your stories!Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team?