HUNDREDS of thousands of Brits are running out of time to claim cost of living payments worth up to £599.
An estimated 1.4million pensioners are receiving pension credit which makes them eligible for a cost of living payment.
But there are 850,000 more pensioners eligible for the benefit who aren't claiming it, Martin Lewis' MSE warned in its weekly newsletter.
It means that they risk missing out on the next two cost of living payments worth £300 and £299.
Households will receive the second instalment of the cost of living payment worth £300 directly into their bank accounts between October 31 and November 19.
While the third instalment will go out in the spring of 2024.
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Usually, these payments are made automatically to those eligible for the tax-free payment.
MSE said those eligible have until December 8 to make a claim for pension credit over the phone and until December 10 to make a claim online or they risk losing out on the cost of living payments.
This is provided applicants were of state pension age between 18 August 2023 and 17 September 2023.
It doesn't matter if you were only eligible for a day – as long as this day was within the qualifying period you'll get the cost of living payment.
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This will ensure that any payments can be backdated and fall within the qualifying period for the £300 cost of living payment.
Unfortunately, it's no longer possible for these applicants to get the first £301 payment, but it's still possible to get the next two payments worth £599.
Who is eligible for pension credit?
Anyone over the state pension age living in England, Scotland or Wales is eligible for pension credit.
The state pension age is currently 66 for both men and women.
To qualify, you'll need to have a weekly income of less than £201.05 for single people or £306.85 for couples.
Your income is worked out taking into account various elements including:
- Your state pension
- Any other pensions you have saved, for instance, workplace or private pension savings
- Most social security benefits, for example, carer’s allowance
- Any savings or investments worth over £10,000
- Earnings from a job
The calculation does not include:
- Attendance allowance
- Christmas bonus
- Disability living allowance
- Personal independence payment
- Housing benefit
- Council tax reduction
If your income is too high to get pension credit, you may still get some savings pension credit, so it's worth checking.
It used to be the case that couples, where one person was over state pension age, could claim, but new rules now mean that both people in a couple must be over retirement age to apply.
This means if you're single and move in with a partner who is younger than the state pension age, you will stop being eligible.
But if you're already receiving pension credit under the old system it won't stop unless your circumstances change.
How much can you get in pension credit?
There are two parts to the pension credit and pensioners can be eligible for one or both.
- Guarantee credit – tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level. This is £201.05 a week if you're single and £306.85 a week for married couples.
- Savings credit – provides extra money if you've saved money towards retirement. You can get an extra £15.94 a week for a single person or £17.84 a week for a married couple.
You may also get additional pension credit if you are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have to pay certain housing costs such as mortgage interest payments.
How do I apply
You can apply for pension credit four months before you reach state pension age.
Applications for pension credit can be made on the government website or by ringing the pension credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.
You will need:
- 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)
Your partner will also need to provide their information if you have one.
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How will I be paid?
Your benefits will usually be paid into a bank account around every four weeks.
You will be asked to provide your bank account details when you claim though concessions are sometimes made for people who don't have access to a bank account.
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