As many as four in 10 people who are entitled to claim pension credits are not doing so, primarily because they don’t realise that they could be.
This situation is saving the government significant sums of money on an annul basis but is leaving more than a million people aged 65 and over out of pocket.
The charity group Independent Age is keen to see more people who could be claiming pension credits doing so in light of that fact that an estimated 2 million British pensioners are currently living in poverty around the country.
Pension credits can be claimed based on a means testing process but, once that’s completed, a variety of other benefits can also be accessed, including housing benefits, council tax reductions and free TV licenses for anyone aged over 75.
Overall, these benefits and the associated savings can be worth several thousand pounds to an individual over the course of a year.
Around three million people are believed to be eligible for pension credits and the other benefits but only a little over half of those who are entitled to the extra cash and financial support are currently claiming it.
The pension credit part of the government’s website is perhaps the best place to visit if want to find more information about how the credits work and how to claim them.
Independent Age has been critical of the government for not doing more to make sure that everyone who could be claiming pension credits knows that they are entitled to them.
The charity has also criticised recent decisions taken by government that mean not everyone aged 75 or over gets a free TV license – that offer is being restricted to people who claim pension credits.
George McNamara, Independent Age’s director of policy and influencing, said: “The recent decision to limit the TV license to only those who receive pension credit adds insult to injury to over a million pensioners who between them, due to government inaction, are missing out on a staggering £10m every day that should be in their pockets.”
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