Apply for Pension Credit - entitlement age, how to qualify for it

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Pension Credit is worth applying for because you will likely qualify. We can help you through the process and you can qualify with the 90% of eligible applicants who get it today. There are different kinds of Pension Credit depending on your personal situation. Below you will find all the details to understand what benefits you can get.

 

If you need help with heating bills and prescription glasses, then Pension Credit can make your life easier. You will get the Cold Weather Payment, without having to apply for it. You will get a leg up when it comes to health expenses like glasses, hospital travel and dental care. If you are a carer, you can also claim up to £36 a week on top of that.


Apply for Guaranteed Pension Credit

If you were born before 6 October 1953 you can apply for Guaranteed Pension Credit. You will need to have your National Insurance number, bank details, income and savings details, pension information, mortgage or rent details as well as information about your partner's circumstances handy to get started.

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We can tell you how much you can claim

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Guaranteed Pension Credit tops up your weekly income when your total weekly income falls below these amounts: £163 a week for single people and £248.80 a week for couples.

  • Even if your weekly income is above those amounts, it is still worth the bother. If you are disabled, a carer or you are still paying a mortgage, you will be able to claim more.
  • Don't forget that you are also able to backdate the Pension Credit benefit by up to three months if your circumstances were the same back then. That means that even if you are a bit late in claiming Pension Credit, you are not going to completely lose out.
  • Don't fret if you are claiming a little later than when you hoped, it doesn't affect your eligibility. It is important that you request the backdating of your benefit when you send off your application so that you get everything you are entitled to.

What age do you need to be?

If you are applying as a couple you will both need to be at least 65 years old to be able to claim. If one of you is below State Pension age then the whole couple gets qualified as being of working age. This is definitely unfair, unfortunately if you will have to apply for Universal Credit until you both reach State Pension age to qualify for Pension Credit together. This doesn't mean that Universal Credit will replace Pension Credit.

Savings Pension CreditBe careful, if you reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, you will only be eligible for Guaranteed Pension Credit. Savings Pension Credit is an extra payment linked to retirement savings for those who became pensioners before the above date. Unfortunately, it was closed off due to government pension reform which is why it isn't being offered to everyone


Is Pension Credit taxable?

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Pension Credit is non-taxable which means it can be completely disregarded when it comes to taxes and contributions according to Citizen's Advice. It is also worth noting that it will not count towards any benefits cap.

In fact, if you receive Pension Credit you will not have to worry about a benefit cap anymore and that should apply to any working-age dependents too. If you have been paying Council Tax and you are eligible for Pension Credit you could very well get out of paying it!


Why has my Pension Credit stopped?

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If you are going on holiday, your Pension Credit will stop after four weeks abroad. If you decide to move permanently or for a longer period than four weeks, your Pension Credit will expire. If you are travelling abroad, it is definitely worth letting the Pension Credit Office know no matter what.

There are two exceptions to the four week limit, though I can't imagine anyone wanting to be under either of these circumstances:

  1. If when you are on holiday abroad and your partner or child die then the Pension Credit may be lengthened to eight weeks for bereavement.
  2. If you are receiving medical care abroad, your Pension Credit may be exceptionally extended for a period of up to six months.

You will need to inform the Pension Credit Office if you are leaving the UK for more than four weeks. The bottom line is that if you leave the UK for good your Pension Credit will be stopped.

Calculate Your Pension CreditTo know how much Pension Credit you are eligible for, give us a call on 01704 325069. Our experts can also advise you on the Cold Weather Payment and lowering your energy bills.