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Martin Lewis issues urgent message as millions are missing out on top-up benefit worth £3.3k a year

today3 July 2022

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Amid increasing worries about the costs of living crisis, Martin Lewis has sent an urgent message to millions of pensioners who are missing out on a top-up benefit worth £3.3k each year. Those in receipt of Pension Credit are also entitled to a one-off £650 payment to help with energy bills.

The Money Saving Expert founder is urging people to check if they’re eligible for the extra support, describing the situation as a ‘national tragedy’, reports LancsLive. He said : “It is a national tragedy that getting on for a million pensioners, many of whom have been paying into the system for years, are missing out on a critical boost to their income.

“It’s called Pension Credit, and this year it also means you get an extra £650 to help with energy bills. So as we’re slap-bang in the middle of a cost of living crisis, it’s crucial we spread the word as quickly as possible, as this payment is worth on average £3,300 a year, and it may stave off physical and mental health risks in what I suspect will be a dangerously expensive coming winter.”

READ MORE: Marks and Spencer shoppers praise ‘absolutely stunning’ £59 summer midi dress

Who can claim Pension Credit?

If you are 66 or older and have total weekly income under roughly £200, then you are encouraged to go online at www.gov.uk/pensioncredit or call the Pension Credit helpline on 0800 99 1234 to see if you’re due.

Not everyone will be entitled to be benefit, but many will be, so it’s worth taking five minutes to check. Mr Lewis said: “The worst that can happen is they say no. So don’t stall, just call (actually, try the website first if you’re more comfortable with that, but I couldn’t think of a rhyme for going online).”

What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is an income ‘top-up’ payment. It’s a means-tested benefit to help those without enough to live off, with two parts:

Guarantee credit: This tops your income up to at least £182.60 a week for single people or £278.70 a week for cohabiting or married couples of state pension age. The average top-up is £65 a week, so that’s £3,300 a year.

You may get more if you’ve got extra responsibilities, such as a severe disability, you’re a carer or look after an under 20-year-old, and second because of…

Savings credit: If you hit state pension age before April 2016, you may be due a top-up if you have savings, even if you’re not due guarantee credit. Martin Lewis said: “I’m going to explain how it works, but it is really complex, so if that scares you don’t read the next paragraph, just call and check if you’re due.

“Here goes… if some of your current income is from savings (it’s counted as £1 a week income per £500 of savings above £10,000) and that takes you above £158 a week in income (£252 for a couple), then you get 60p extra paid per £1 of income up to a maximum of £14.50 a week. Simple, eh!”

Pension Credit claimants are entitled to other benefits

Those who are eligible for the guarantee credit element of Pension Credit will be able to claim other perks. Including:

– One-off £650 lump sum to help with energy bill rises (£325 paid in July, £325 autumn). Those on other benefits needs to claim before the first payment was due, but those on pension credit need to claim by 24 August 2022 to get the money (as long as you were state pension age in May).

– Free TV licence for over-75s – worth £159. Those over-75s on Pension Credit can claim a free one for their household.

– Council tax reduction – potentially worth £1,000s a year. Depending on your local authority’s rules, this may cover your entire council tax bill.

– Help with heating and energy costs – worth £100s. Pension credit entitles you to the warm home discount, which is a £150 credit on your energy bill, normally given by the end of March. You could also get extra payments in weeks where there is very cold weather.

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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