THERE’S just days left for hundreds of thousands of retirees to get a cost of living payment worth up to £650.
The cash is being dished out to help millions of people on low incomes struggling with rising bills.
Around 958,000 people on state pension and on a low income are missing out pension credit, which tops up weekly pension payments.
A claim made before August 18 could be backdated up to three months, meaning if successful you could get the cost of living cash.
The backdating would take you back to the first qualifying period for the first half of the £650 cost of living payment.
You must have been claiming pension credit, or later be found to be eligible for it, between April 26 to May 25.
Not only could you get the £326 cost of living cash, the benefit itself could give you a cash boost of as much as £3,300 a year and access to other perks like a TV licence.
Anyone who misses the deadline should still make a claim as you’ll get this boost, and the second half of the £650 cost of living payment which will be paid this autumn.
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The extra cash comes as millions of households face a huge jump in energy bills this winter.
The price cap which sets a per unit price limit on how much you can be charged is expected to be £3,628 in October for the typical dual fuel tariff.
That’s up from £1,971 currently, but this can be higher or lower depending on the amount of energy you use.
Pensioners are also set for a separate £300 cost of living payment this winter.
Who is eligible for Pension Credit and how much can I get?
Pension Credit is there to give those over the State Pension age a boost if they’re on a low income.
The basic rate tops your income up to £182.60 a week for single people and £278.70 for couples – although you could get more depending on your personal circumstances.
You could get more if you’re are a carer or disabled, for instance.
According to the latest government statistics from January the average award is £64 a week. Over the course of a year that adds up to £3,328.
There are two parts to Pension Credit – Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. You may be entitled to one or both parts.
Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to a minimum amount whereas Savings Credit is a small top-up for people who have a small amount of income or savings.
To qualify, either you, or your partner if you live with one, must have reached State Pension age, which is currently set at 66.
You also need to live in England, Scotland or Wales
Your household income will be calculated when you apply, and if you fall short of the thresholds you will be awarded a top-up amount.
Your income includes:
- State Pension
- other pensions
- earnings from employment and self-employment
- most social security benefits, for example Carer’s Allowance
If you have £10,000 or less in savings and investments this will not affect your Pension Credit.
If you have more than £10,000, every £500 over £10,000 counts as £1 worth of weekly income.
It’s worth claiming pension credit even if you get just a penny, as the benefit unlocks access to other pensioner perks.
How do I claim Pension Credit?
You have to apply to receive Pension Credit on the government’s website.
You can also call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.
And you can apply by post, however, with the deadline just a few days away this might mean you’re not guaranteed a successful application.
You can start your application up to four months before reaching State Pension age.
State Pension age is currently 66 for both men and women.
You can also apply any time after reaching the State Pension age but your application can only be backdated by three months.
This means you could get up to three months of the benefit in your first payment if you were eligible across that period.
If you’re applying, you’ll need the following information about you, and your partner if you have one, ready to hand:
- National Insurance number
- information about any income, savings and investments you have
- information about your income, savings and investments on the date you want to backdate your application to (usually 3 months ago or the date you reached State Pension age)
You’ll also need your bank account details which is where you’ll get the payments.
Cost of living payments: what you need to know
- All the key dates for cost of living payments revealed
- Every household will get a £400 cost of living payment to help with energy bills
- See the full list of benefits eligible for £650 cost of living cash
- Here’s free cash you can get if you DON’T qualify for the £650 cost of living payment
- Millions of pensioners will get a £300 cost of living payment this winter
- Disabled Brits will get £150 this September
- Parents can get up to £200 towards school uniform costs