DEADLINE LOOMS FOR COST-OF-LIVING PAYMENT
Strathkelvin and Bearsden SNP MSP Rona Mackay and Age Scotland are urging low income pensioners in the area to act quickly to claim for Pension Credit before this Sunday’s deadline to avoid losing out on an extra £324 cost of living payment.
Age Scotland, the national charity for older people, can help identify if someone is eligible for Pension Credit and offer advice on applying by calling their helpline on 0800 12 44 222, where advisers can carry out a full benefits check, or check their eligibility online at www.age.scot/benefitscalculator
Pension Credit provides pensioners on a low income with extra money and other helpful support. It can top up their weekly income to £182.60 if they are single, and £278.70 if they are making a joint claim with a partner, as well as cutting council tax bills, help with energy costs and a free TV licence if they are over the age of 75.
Anyone who makes a successful Pension Credit application to the Department for Work and Pensions before 18 December, 2022 will also be entitled to a £324 lump sum financial support payment. This is because a claim for Pension Credit can be backdated for up to three months, provided the entitlement conditions are met throughout that time.
Rona Mackay SNP MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said:“With growing numbers of older people struggling to cope with the rising cost of living, there has never been a more important time to make sure you are receiving everything to which you are entitled.
“Every year in Scotland, hundreds of millions of pounds in social security payments go unclaimed by older people due to lack of awareness, difficulty in accessing them, stigma surrounding benefits or just not knowing where to turn for help.
“I would encourage people to call Age Scotland’s helpline to find out if they are entitled to Pension Credit or make an application directly via the gov.uk website as soon as possible.”
Age Scotland interim chief executive Michelle Supple said: “Pension Credit is not only an essential benefit, but it opens the door to much more additional support including help with energy bills in the winter, a free TV licence for over-75s, help with rent and council tax reduction, free dental care and reduced water bills.
“We are urging all pensioners on a low income to act quickly and start the application process or call our helpline 0800 12 44 222 for advice. We don’t want to see anyone miss out on extra cost of living support, especially with Christmas around the corner.”
If you receive Pension Credit, there is a range of additional support and payments to help:
· A one-off payment of £150 (previously £140) through the Warm Home Discount Scheme to help with the cost of energy this winter
· A £50 payment in February to help with heating costs
· Help with Council Tax and rent
· Reduced water bills
· Free NHS dental treatment and help towards the cost of glasses and travel to hospital
· A free TV licence (if over-75)
· An extra amount of Pension Credit for some carers worth up to £38.85 a week
Applications for Pension Credit can be made by calling the Department for Work and Pensions on 0800 99 1234, or online at www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim