Martin Lewis appeared on the Martin Lewis Money Show this week, looking at ways members of the public could make their money go further. During the instalment of the ITV show, the founder of the website Money Saving Expert explained that some people who have reached state pension age may be able to claim Pension Credit.
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Currently, there are an estimated 1.3 million eligible households who don’t claim the means-tested and tax-free payment, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said.
This works out at a 60 percent take up of the benefit.
There are two parts of Pension Credit, and these are Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
The former tops up weekly income if this is below £167.25 for single people or £255.25 for couples.
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State Pension age: Martin Lewis spoke about Pension Credit on the ITV Martin Lewis Money Show (Image: GETTY • ITV)
Meanwhile, Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who have saved some money towards their retirement, such as a pension.
Last night, Mr Lewis said: “I find it very frustrating that some of those who are most in need of Pension Credit aren’t getting that extra money. So that may be you – call the Pension Credit hotline.”
He added: “But it may be that you know somebody – a lower income pensioner – and if you do and you think that could apply to them, then say to them, ‘I don’t mean to pry but if you don’t, why don’t you call the Pension Credit hotline and find out?’
“You never know, it could just help someone have a better life in their retirement.”
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Mr Lewis explained that a person could call the Pension Credit helpline, or a friend could call on their behalf. This can be done if the individual is with them when they call.
Alternatively, it’s possible to access the Pension Credit calculator online at the Gov.uk website in order to check to see if one could get it.
The DWP says that the quickest and easiest way to apply for Pension Credit is by phone.
While Mr Lewis pointed out that the money could add up to be in the thousands over the course of the year, he added that his “big point” is that Pension Credit is a “gateway benefit”.
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“It unlocks potential eligibility to a whole range of other things,” he said.
“You know about the free TV Licence from June [for over 75s who get Pension Credit], but there’s also: some councils will give you a Council Tax reduction of up to 100 percent if you’re on Pension Credit.
“There’s the Warm Home Discount from big energy companies worth £140 per year if you’re on the guarantee element of Pension Credit.”
If it gets really cold in a certain area, Mr Lewis highlighted that affected Pension Credit recipients may be able to also get a Cold Weather Payment from the DWP.
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“Some councils will also give you Housing Benefit if you’re on Pension Credit. Ask your water company if you can get a discount of up to 50 percent.
“EON, npower have home insulation and boiler cover grants for those on the guaranteed element of Pension Credit even if you’re not their customers.
“Ask your optician, can you get a voucher towards your glasses and contact lenses, ask your dentist if you’re entitled to free NHS dental treatment.”
Urging members of the public to look further into whether they or their loved ones are eligible, he continued: “That’s why 1.3 million people missing out on the benefit and this is something we need to change.”
The Martin Lewis Money Show continues on Monday at 8pm on ITV.