Pension credit provides a contribution towards a guaranteed level of income of at least £102.10 a week for single people aged 60 and over and at least £155.80 for pensioner couples (at least one of whom must be aged 60 or over).
These amounts will be more if you have caring responsibilities, are severely disabled or have certain housing costs. For pensioners aged 65 and over Pension Credit also provides a reward for some of the savings and income they have for their retirement.
Is it for me?
If you are over 60 and your weekly income is less than £140 if you are single or £200 if you have a partner then you are likely to be eligible for Pension Credit.
You may still qualify for Pension Credit if your weekly income is higher and have caring responsibilities, are severely disabled or have certain housing costs.
How can I find out more?
The Government is writing to pensioner households between April 2020 and July 2020 with more information about Pension Credit to help them decide whether or not to apply. Full details of how to apply are in the letter.
Further information is available through the Pension Credit section of The Pension Service website, and in the leaflet, ‘Pension Credit Pick it up it’s yours’, also available through The Pension Service website.
2. HOUSING BENEFIT AND COUNCIL TAX BENEFIT
If you’re on a low income, you may be able to get help to pay for your rent and council tax bills. You do not have to be getting any other benefits.
Your local council pays Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. How much you can get will depend, among other things, on your income and your savings and how much rent and council tax you are currently paying.
Find out more about Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit on the Department for Work and Pensions website.
Or you can get leaflets ‘GL16 Help with your rent’ and ‘GL17 Help with your Council Tax’ from the Department for Work and Pensions website, your local council, pension centre or social security office.
If you live in Scotland
If you live in Scotland and have a severe disability, should contact your local council for more information about help you can get. You can find more information in the leaflet ‘Council Tax in Scotland: a guide for people who have special needs and their carers’. You can get this leaflet from local council offices or local advice centers. You can also write to: Council Tax Enquiries, The Scottish Executive, Area 3-J, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ, or visit the Scottish Executive website.
- WINTER FUEL BENEFITS
If you’re aged 60 or over, you could be entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment to help with your heating bills in winter.
Most people get these paid automatically, but to find out if you need to make a claim, you can contact the helpline through The Pension Service website or call them on 0845 9 15 15 15 (Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 4.3 pm, calls are charged at the local rate).
4. BUDGETING LOANS FROM THE SOCIAL FUND
Budgeting Loans are interest-free and are meant to help spread the cost of one-off expenses over a longer period.
You can get a Budgeting Loan if you need help to buy items such as furniture, household goods, clothes, shoes or with expenses such as rent, removal costs or home improvements. You can also use them for hire purchase and other debts.
Are Budgeting Loans for me?
These loans could be for you if you have been getting Pension Credit and have been receiving:
- Pension Credit for at least 26 weeks or
- Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (or payment on account of one of these benefits) for at least 26 weeks or
- a combination of these benefits for at least 26 weeks
Find out more about Budgeting Loans on this website or contact your social security office. You can also read or print leaflet ‘GL18 Help from the Social Fund’ from The Pension Service resource centre.
5. CRISIS LOANS FROM THE SOCIAL FUND
Crisis Loans may help you if you need a specific item or you need short-term help with living expenses. For example, there may be a fire or you may lose money through a robbery or burglary and need something to live on until you get your next pension.
You don’t have to be getting benefits to apply for a Crisis Loan.
Find out more about Crisis Loans on the Department for Work and Pensions website or contact your social security office.
You can also read or print leaflet ‘GL18 Help from the Social Fund’ from the DWP resource centre.
- COMMUNITY CARE GRANTS FROM THE SOCIAL FUND
You can apply for a Community Care Grant if you need help to stay in your own home, return to your own home from a place where you have been getting care or ease exceptional pressures on you or your family.
You will need to be getting Pension Credit or likely to get Pension Credit when you move following a stay in care.
If you’re a carer, you can sometimes apply as well.
The conditions for applying are varied, so you should check with your pension centre or social security office.
Find out more about Community Care Grants on the Department for Work and Pensions website or read or print leaflet ‘GL18 Help from the Social Fund’ from our resource centre.
7. WAR WIDOW’S AND WIDOWER’S PENSION
If your husband’s or wife’s death was caused by or happened sooner because of, service in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces or a war, you may qualify for a War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension under the War Pensions Scheme. You may also be able to get extra allowances or help with funeral costs.
Find out more about War Widow’s or Widower’s Pensions on the Veterans Agency website or phone the Veterans Agency’s free helpline.