A PENSIONER has been left “gobsmacked” after finding out she’s entitled to thousands of pounds a year in extra benefits.
Helen Simpson from Musselburgh in Scotland, discovered she could get the “life changing” sum of money after a visit to the dentist which she was struggling to pay for.
The 67-year-old found she couldn’t afford the treatment she needed on her income of state pension and personal independence payment (PIP)
But after visiting her local Citizens Advice Bureau, she discovered she was entitled to £83 a week extra – a whopping £4,316 a year.
Pension Credit is a little-known benefit for retirees on low incomes.
Sy het vertel the Coventry Telegraph: “Well you can imagine, I was gob-smacked. That sort of money is life-changing for me.
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“Don’t get me wrong – I won’t be going on a cruise to the Bahamas or buying a Rolls Royce. I’m still living pretty near the breadline. But this extra money has made all the difference.”
She was also able to claim backpay which gave her a lump sum of £900 that she should have been getting for the last three months.
Ms Simpson, who had never heard of Pension Credit, said she now keen to get the message out to other people to not make the same mistake as her.
She said it was people’s money so they should “get it claimed”.
Die meeste gelees in geld
maar wanneer 'n aanloklike Ram verskyn
I’ve lived in my house for 104 jare – I was born here and then bought it for £250
She added if she hadn’t had toothache last year she would still be “sitting shivering the cold, worried sick about how I was going to pay these big increases in energy bills”.
What is Pension Credit?
Pension Credit is extra payment available to those over the state pension age and on a low income.
The money can also be used to help with housing costs, such as ground rent costs or service charges.
You can get extra help if you are a carer, severely disabled, or responsible for a child or young person as well.
You can get your Pension Credit backdated but the maximum period of time you can do it for is three months.
But there are many on low incomes receiving state pension missing out on the credits.
Nearly one million retirees are missing out on £2,000 each every year.
The boss of MoneySavingExpert said it was a “national tragedy” so many pensioners were missing out on the extra help.
Die baat is typically worth around £3,000 a year on average though.
You can read our guide to work out how much you could get depending on your specific situation.
The extras you could be entitled to include:
- Housing Benefit if you rent the property you live in
- Support if you own the property you live in
- Council Tax Reductions
- A free TV licence if you’re aged 75 of oor
- Help with NHS prescriptions, dental treatment, glasses and free transport costs for hospital appointments
- Help with your heating costs including cold weather payments.
You can find out more about Pension Credit and apply aanlyn.
Alternatiewelik, you can call the Pension Credit helpline on 0800 99 1234 or apply by post by printing out and filling in the Pension Credit claim form.
Who is eligible for Pension Credit and how much do you get?
There are two parts to Pension Credit and retirees can be in line for one or both parts.
The first is Guarantee Credit, which tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level.
Then there is Savings Credit, which provides you with extra cash if you’ve saved money towards retirement.
But you will only be allowed the Guarantee Credit depending on your income, including your partner’s, if you live with them.
To get hold of the Savings Credit part, two things have to apply.
You have to have reached the State Pension age before April 6, 2016, and you should’ve have saved some money for retirement.
Ek is so jammer dit klink aaklig
You’ll get up to £14.04 Savings Credit a week if you’re single. If you have a partner, you’ll get up to £15.71 a week.
Ons previously reported on what extra top ups are available to those on Pension Credit, hoe om aansoek te doen, and how income is calculated.