June 14, 2024

Denbighshire County Council is urging pensioners to find out if they are missing out on Pension Credit. It is estimated that around 80,000 pensioners across Wales are entitled to, but do not claim, Pension Credit. According to the Bevan Foundation charity, an estimated 15% of pensioners live in poverty in Wales.

People are encouraged to check if they qualify for the benefit, which is on average worth £3,900 a year. Letters will be sent to eligible pensioners in Denbighshire to highlight the support available and encourage applications. The Department for Work and Pensions suggests that some older people believe they do not qualify for the Pension Credit as a result of their savings or ownership of property.

Pension Credit provides vital support to older people on low incomes, raising their income to a minimum of £218.15 a week for single people or £332.95 for couples.

For those people who have reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, they may have generous to extra money if they have made provisions towards retirement, such as savings or a private pension. This is called Savings Credit and can be up to £17.01 for single people or £19.04 for couples.

In addition, people can get help with housing costs, council tax, heat bills, healthcare, and if you’re 75 or older, a free TV licence.

Liz Thomas, Head of Finance and Audit, Denbighshire County Council, said:

“Pension Credit is already making a difference to over 3000 people in Denbighshire. A lot of people might be missing out because they don’t think it’s for them, which is wrong. We encourage friends and relatives to offer support by doing some research with an older person to find out what financial support is available.

Claiming Pension Credit is important because it can provide access to a range of other claims. Some people may only be able to claim a few pounds in Pension Credit, so they may feel it is not worth claiming, but they should consider the bigger picture as it opens the door to much more support.

Ensuring residents make the most of their household weapons can make a real difference to people’s lives, as well as connecting them to valuable services and organisations across Denbighshire.”

You can start your application up to four months before you reach State Pension age. You can claim at any time after you reach State Pension age, but your claim can only be backdated up to three months. You can find out if you qualify for Pension Credit and the amount you can claim using the pension calculator – www.gov.uk/cyfrifiannell-credyd-pensiwn.

Graham Kendall, Chief Officer at Citizens Advice Denbighshire, said:

“We recently helped a 75-year-old client who lives alone in her own home. She called into one of the Citizens Advice drop-ins as she wanted to see if she was eligible for any additional claims following her husband’s recent death. Our client was receiving a State Pension, had a private pension and savings under £10,000. When we checked, she was entitled to a Pension Credit of £6 a week and a Council Tax Reduction of £30 a week. We also informed her that if she received Pension Credit, she could apply for a Funeral Payment to help with her husband’s funeral costs. Our client was able to apply for both benefits, and following the Pension Credit award, received assistance with the funeral costs.

We are dealing with a number of residents who are struggling to balance the accounts due to the cost of living, but may be too pleased to consider looking into the financial support that may be available to them. We try to remove barriers and encourage residents to be open and discuss their personal circumstances. We provide confidential advice and support including full benefit checks, form filling, supporting customers to manage fuel poverty and providing housing advice.”

If you are unsure of your eligibility, or would like help and assistance with your application, please contact Denbighshire Citizens Advice on 01745 346 775 or via the online form – www.cadenbighshire.co.uk/hafan.