Time is fast running out for eligible older people to apply to receive £301 from the Government’s 2023/24 cost of living support package, says Independent Age, the national older person’s charity.
The cost of living payment announced last year is for households on many means-tested benefits – including Pension Credit, the income top-up for older people on a low income.
The Government has said that if eligible older people put in their application for Pension Credit by Friday 19th May, they will be able to backdate it during their application by the maximum three months to receive £301, the first of three 2023/24 cost of living payments totalling £900.
Pension Credit “tops-up” the income of people over the State Pension age who fall below a minimum income threshold. It can be worth over £3,300 per year or £60 a week. However, up to 850,000 eligible people could be missing out.
Even if a person only gets a few pence extra per week in Pension Credit, it can also unlock additional benefits such as the Warm Home Discount, a free TV licence (for people aged over 75), Council Tax Reduction, help to pay rent and free NHS dental treatment.
Independent Age’s research has shown that these extra benefits can be worth up to £8,000 a year.
John Palmer, Director of Policy and Communications at Independent Age, said: “We are urging all older people who are financially struggling to check whether they could receive Pension Credit. Time is running out. Not only could they receive an extra £301 to help with the cost of living, but they will gain an additional weekly income and unlock a host of other entitlements.
”If you think you could be eligible visit the DWP website or call the Independent Age helpline on 0800 319 6789 and we can talk you through the application process, and especially how to backdate your claim by three months so you will receive the £301.
“You can also use our online benefits checker to find out more information.
“Even after the deadline to backdate the claim, everyone struggling should check if they are eligible for Pension Credit. Even homeowners and people with savings can be eligible. The support you could be entitled to is sitting in a pot, with up to £1.7 billion a year not being received by those who should be getting it. During this turbulent period of high costs, we all need to make sure we’re receiving all the support we’re entitled to.”