Thousands of older people in region could be missing out on up to £3,500 per year
- Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire estimates thousands of people across South Gloucestershire could be losing out
- Pension credit is under-claimed. Some 850,000 households across England, Wales and Scotland are eligible but not claiming it
- Come to Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire for help, says charity’s lead supervisor
A South Gloucestershire advice charity is calling on anyone of pension-age who is struggling financially to come forward.
They could be missing out on up to £3,500 of pension credit. This is a benefit open to pensioners who are on a low income.
Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire wants to highlight that people struggling in the cost-of-living crisis may be entitled to the money.
Up to 850,000 pensioner households could claim the money but are not doing so, according to Government figures.
This amounts to £1.5bn worth of unclaimed pension credit each year across the country.
There is believed to be an estimated 4,000 unclaimed pension credit claims in South Gloucestershire.
This figure is based on the percentage of the population of England, Wales and Scotland who are thought to be eligible but not claiming (1.3 per cent) applied to the population of South Gloucestershire (290,400).
Eligibility for pension credit
To be eligible for pension credit, you must have reached State Pension age, not have too much income or savings and live in the UK.
You can still be working, as long as your income isn’t too high. Unlike the State Pension, you don’t need a national insurance record.
Emmanuelle Claverie is Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire’s Lead Supervisor who manages a team of advisers.
She said: “Energy bills are going up, even if it’s Spring. The £67 (energy bills support scheme) is stopping.
“People of retirement age might be entitled to extra support through pension credit.
“If you are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis – come and see. You might be entitled to pension credit and other things.
“It is unclaimed by so many people, who might not realise they are entitled to extra money. Too many people either try and cope with what they have or think they shouldn’t have to claim benefits.
“The important part is ‘entitled to’ – there is a minimum amount the Government says you need to live on and if you are below that you are entitled to have it topped up and therefore people shouldn’t feel that they should be able to manage just on the pension they receive.”
Come to us
Emmanuelle said anyone wanting to know more should come to Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire.
Advisers can help find out what clients are entitled to, and can help make a claim.
There are face-to-face drop-in sessions in the Yate office on Mondays (4pm to 6pm), Tuesdays (10am to 3pm) and Fridays (10am to 1pm).
There are also outreach sessions in Bradley Stoke, Thornbury, Cadbury Heath, Emersons Green and Stoke Gifford throughout the week – check here for dates and times.
Alternatively, our office can be called on 0808 278 7947 or online advice is available here.
- Anyone in South Gloucestershire seeking free, independent, impartial and confidential advice from Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire can call 0808 278 7947 or visit: southgloscab.org.uk
- Anyone wishing to donate to Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire to help it continue its vital work should visit: https://bit.ly/3kG7HyB