Money Wellness
Image of a pensioner wrapped up warm looking at bills
category iconbenefits
category iconmoney booster
calendar icon17 Aug 2023

DWP urges pensioners to check they’re not missing out on £3,500 worth of support

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has joined forces with charities and the media to urge pensioners to check if they’re eligible for pension credit, worth £3,500 per year.

Pension credit is designed to help with daily living costs for people over state pension age – currently 66 years old – on a low income.

The benefit tops up a person’s income to a minimum of £201.05 per week for single pensioners and £306.85 for couples – or more if a person has a disability or caring responsibilities.

What’s more, it can also open doors to other benefits including help with housing costs, council tax, heating bills, as well as up to £600 in extra cost of living payments too.

Nealy 1.4 million pensioners in Britain receive pension credit but an estimated 850,000 eligible households aren’t claiming the extra financial help they’re entitled to.

The DWP also plans to launch a ‘Invitation to Claim’ campaign, writing directly to eligible pensioners in ten local authorities encouraging them to apply for pension credit. The local authorities chosen trial the scheme are:

  • Eastbourne
  • Teignbridge
  • Pendle
  • Charnwood
  • Vale of White Horse
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Craven
  • Harrow
  • Powys
  • West Lothian

Minister for Pensions Laura Trott MBE said: “We recognise the challenges some pensioners will be facing with the cost of living, which is why, alongside driving down inflation, promoting pension credit is a priority.”


Are you eligible for pension credit?

You must live in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached state pension age (66) to qualify for pension credit.

If you have a partner, you must include them on your application. You’ll be eligible if either:

  • You and your partner have both reached state pension age
  • One of you is getting housing benefit for people over state pension age

When you apply for pension credit, your income is calculated – if you have a partner, it’s calculated together.

What will you get?

  • Your weekly income to £201.05 if you’re single
  • Your joint weekly income to £30685 if you have a partner

If your income is higher, you might still be eligible for pension credit if you have a disability, you care for someone, you have savings or you have housing costs.

What does and doesn’t count as income?

  • State pension
  • Other pensions
  • Earnings from employment and self-employment
  • Most social security benefits – for example carer’s allowance

Not all benefits are counted as income, e.g. the following are not included:

  • Adult disability payment
  • Attendance allowance
  • Christmas bonus
  • Child benefit
  • Disability living allowance
  • Personal independent payment
  • Social fund payments like winter fuel allowance
  • Housing benefit
  • Council tax reductions

If you’re entitled to a work or personal pension and have not claimed it yet, the amount you’d expect to get still counts as income.

If you’ve deferred your state pension, the amount you’d get is also counted as income.

If you have £10,000 or less in savings and investments this will not affect your pension credit.

If you have more than £10,000, every £500 over £10,00 counts as £1 income a week.

How do you apply for pension credit?

You can use the DWP’s online calculator - Pension Credit calculator - GOV.UK ( to work out if you’re eligible for pension credit and how much you’ll get.

Further information can be found at Pension Credit: Overview - GOV.UK ( People can also claim by phone on 0800 99 1234.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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