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Pension Credit could help
Free TV licences for more than 4 million people over 75 are no longer automatic. The TV Licencing Authority will be contacting people over the next 12 months and you will need to pay £157.50 (as a lump sum or in monthly instalments) unless you are receiving Pension Credit.
Over 30% of people who are entitled to claim Pension Credit are failing to do so. They miss out on an average of around £2,500 per year as well as other welfare benefits.
What is Pension Credit?
Pension Credit is a weekly benefit for those over pension age, based on how much money you have coming in. There are two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. You might get one or both parts. Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to a minimum amount. Savings Credit is a small top-up for people who have a modest amount of income and savings.
Are you entitled to Guarantee Credit?
You must have reached State Pension age and live in the UK. You can still be working, as long as your income isn’t too high. If your total weekly income is below £173.25 then Guarantee Credit will top you up to that amount. If you’re claiming as a couple your income will be topped up to £265.20.
Your income can be higher if you qualify for benefits such as the severe disability or carer’s addition, or if you’re paying a mortgage.
However, if you’re over State Pension age but your partner isn’t, you can’t usually make a claim for Pension Credit – you’ll usually need to claim Universal Credit.
Are you entitled to Savings Credit?
If you have savings and your income is a little too high for Guarantee Credit, you may still be eligible for Savings Credit. You can only start getting Savings Credit if you (and your partner) reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016. The rules are quite complex so it’s best to use the Pension Credit calculator before you apply.
At gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator you can enter your information anonymously to find out if you are eligible.
How to claim
So long as you have applied for a state pension and are not claiming for children, you can claim online at apply-for-pension-credit.service.gov.uk/start
Alternatively, you or a friend or family member can call 0800 99 1234 Mon-Fri 9.30-6.00.
Proving you receive Pension Credit
If you lose the letter confirming you receive Pension Credit, you can get a new one by contacting the Pension Service on 0800 731 7898 Mon-Fri 9.30-3.30 or at The Pension Service 4, Post Handling Site A, Wolverhampton WV98 1AG.