DWP 7-day warning as thousands could still claim £299 cost of living payment | Personal Finance | Finance

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Hundreds of thousands of pensioners could pocket an extra £299 if they claim in the next seven days.

Those who successfully apply for Pension Credit by March 5 could secure the additional £299 boost in the form of a payment thanks to backdating rules.

Pension Credit, which averages over £3,900 a year, is distributed by the Department for Work and Pensions () and is there to help with day-to-day expenses for those who have reached state pension age (currently 66) and are on a low income.

Paul Maynard, minister for pensions said: “We are committed to ensuring every pensioner receives the financial support available to them.

“Anyone who is unsure whether they or a loved one is entitled to Pension Credit should quickly check using our online Pension Credit calculator – it’s never been easier.

“Not only could this secure an extra £3,900 every year and unlock a whole host of other support, if successfully claimed by March 5, a further £299 Cost of Living boost is up for grabs.

While around 1.4 million pensioners are already receiving Pension Credit, there are an estimated 880,000 households eligible for the support who are yet to claim it.

For single pensioners, Pension Credit guarantees a minimum weekly income of £201.05; for couples, it’s £306.85.

People may get extra amounts if they have other responsibilities and costs, which is known as ‘Guarantee Credit’. The full list of top-up payments and eligibility can be found here.

From April 2024, these figures will increase in line with September 2023’s inflation rate of 6.7 percent.

This will a claimant’s weekly income up to:

  • £218.15 if they’re single
  • £332.95 if they have a partner.

Even small amounts of Pension Credit could open doors to further financial assistance, covering things like housing costs, TV licences, council tax, and heating bills, as well as potentially the £299 backdated Cost of Living payment.

People can apply for Pension Credit over the phone, online, or by post.

For anyone unsure about eligibility or how much they might get, the online Pension Credit calculator tool can help.

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