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Are you of pension age? Are you struggling to pay your bills with just your state pension? There are several benefits which you could be eligible for! NOTE: pension age will be 65 years and 3 months by April 2019.
Firstly, you may qualify for Guaranteed Pension Credit (GPC): for a single person this would bring your current, basic, state pension up to £163; if you are a couple – £248.80 per week. On top of this, if you are eligible, you can also get help with your rent, by applying for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction (for both of these you will need to apply to your local authority). You may qualify for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction even if you can’t get GPC.
Do both members of a couple have to be over pension age? No – not at the moment. The person claiming the benefits must be of pension age, but their partner can be of working age.
However, from 15th May “mixed age” couples (i.e. one of pension age and one of working age) who haven’t already claimed GPC, or Housing Benefit can only apply for Universal Credit if they are on a low income. This is likely to be less than the amount the couple would get if they had claimed GPC. If the pension age person has a claim for Housing Benefit see the Gov.uk information on Pension Credit eligibility.
You might get more Pension Credit if you’re a carer, disabled, responsible for a child or young person, or have certain housing costs.
To check if you qualify for Pension Credit take a look at Citizens Advice Pension Credit information. To calculate how much you might get see the Pension Credit Calculator. This Citizens Advice guide explains how you can claim.
Don’t delay if you think you may qualify for Pension Credit, and claim before 15th May if you are a “mixed age” couple! Or if you know someone who might benefit from checking eligibility.
Remember : Citizen Advice can help with benefits (eligibility, how to claim, assist with claiming and if you have problems with benefits) as well as Debt, Employment issues and many other areas.