Pension credit gives a guaranteed minimum income to those over the Pension Credit qualifying age, which is now 65 for both men and women.
Right now, someone over 65 living in a couple can claim pension credit regardless of their partner's age. But from 15 May 2019, those in couples will only be able to begin claiming if BOTH partners are over 65.
If you claim Pension Credit, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit that covers your rent in full.
If you already claim pension credit and your partner hasn't reached the state pension age, you won't be affected by the change and will carry on receiving it for as long as you're eligible.
But if you don't already claim, are over 65 or will be before 14 May, have a younger partner and meet the income criteria, make sure you apply as soon as possible. The official deadline is 14 May 2019
It's estimated over 50,000 pensioners with younger partners could claim currently but don't - so if you're eligible, apply as soon as possible. After May, those in a couple where one partner hasn't reached the qualifying age will need to apply for Universal Credit instead.
What is pension credit?
Pension credit is a benefit which some can apply for to top up their income once they've reached Pension credit qualifying age. There are two elements to it:
- Guarantee credit. If your weekly income is less than £163 for a single pensioner, or your joint weekly income is less than £248.80 as a couple, your income will be topped up to this level.
- Savings credit. This is mostly available for those who reached Pension Credit qualifying age before 6 April 2016, and have some savings for retirement. You could be eligible for up to £13.40 extra per week for a single person, or £14.99 per week for a couple.
How could Pension Credit help me?
If you’re eligible, Pension Credit will not only give you a bit of extra cash, it could also help you get other benefits too:
- It’s unlikely you’ll have to pay Council Tax (unless other people live with you).
- You’ll get free NHS dental treatment, and you can claim help towards the cost of glasses and travel to hospital.
- You’ll get a Cold Weather Payment of £25 when the temperature is 0°C or below for 7 days in a row.
- If you rent your home, you may get your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit.
- If you’re a carer, you may get an extra amount known as Carer Premium, or Carer Addition if it’s paid with Pension Credit. This is worth up to £36 a week.
How do I get pension credit?
The quickest way to claim pension credit is to call the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234. It'll fill in the application form for you.
- You'll need:
- Your national insurance number
- Information about your income, savings and investments
- Your bank account details
The earliest you can start your application is four months before you reach pension credit qualifying age.
You can claim any time after you reach Pension Credit qualifying age, but your claim can only be backdated for three months.
We can help
If you need support, our Money Matters Team can offer advice and help you make a claim.
Call: 01606 813470/ 813341