Published On: Wed, Jul 3rd, 2024
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State Pensioners could get extra DWP payment | Personal Finance | Finance


Older man looking at laptop

Millions of older people could get extra State Pension cash (Image: Getty)

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released new figures showing that nearly 12.7 million elderly people across the UK are currently receiving a regular income from the State Pension.

This benefit is available to those who have reached the eligible retirement age of 66, set by the UK Government, and have made at least 10 years’ worth of National Insurance contributions.

However, individuals aged over 80 with no Basic State Pension income or a weekly income less than £101.55 could be entitled to additional funds to assist with daily living costs. The ‘Over 80 Pension’ provides older individuals with £101.55 each week if they receive no Basic State Pension, or supplements their income to reach this amount.

Moreover, those over 66 with a low income may qualify for Pension Credit, which offers an average of more than £3,900 in extra financial support annually.

Claiming the ‘Over 80 Pension’

It’s crucial to note that the ‘Over 80 Pension’ is not available to those who reached State Pension age on or after April 6, 2016 – these individuals are eligible for the New State Pension instead, reports the Daily Record.

According to GOV.uk, you can claim the Over 80 pension if all the following conditions are met:

  • You are 80 or over
  • You do not get Basic State Pension or your Basic State Pension is less than £101.55 a week
  • You were resident in the UK for at least 10 years out of 20 (this does not have to be 10 years in a row) – this 20-year period must include the day before you turned 80 or any day after
  • You were ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK, the Isle of Man or Gibraltar on your 80th birthday or the date you made the claim for this pension, if later

For those residing in or relocating to a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, information about pensions and benefits for UK nationals in the EU, EEA and Switzerland can be found on GOV.UK. Your eligibility for the Over 80 pension is not based on National Insurance contributions.

How to claim

You can get a claim form from either:

The earliest you can claim is three months before your 80th birthday. You can get a claim form sent to you from the Pension Service by calling 0800 731 7898. Full details on GOV.UK here.

Pension Credit

Pension Credit gives people extra money to help with their living costs if they are over State Pension age and on a low income. It can also provide access to a range of other benefits.

Nearly 1.4 million older people across Great Britain, including more than 126,800 living in Scotland, are currently receiving the means-tested benefit that could provide an average of more than £3,900 in extra support each year.

However, the latest figures from the DWP suggest there are still 880,000 eligible pensioners not claiming the benefit they are entitled to.

How much is Pension Credit worth?

Pension Credit is tax-free and tops up weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level of £218.15 a week for single pensioners or £332.95 for couples. If your income is higher, you might still be eligible if you have a disability, you care for someone, you have savings or you have housing costs – find out more here.

What counts as income for Pension Credit

Your income includes:

  • State Pension
  • other pensions
  • earnings from employment and self-employment
  • most social security benefits, for example Carer’s Allowance

What does not count as income

Not all benefits are counted as income. For example, the following are not counted:

  • Adult Disability Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Christmas Bonus
  • Child Benefit
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • social fund payments like Winter Fuel Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction

An award of just £1 per week is enough to unlock other support, including help with housing costs, heating bills and Council Tax.

The quickest way to check eligibility for Pension Credit

Elderly individuals, or their friends and family, can swiftly verify their eligibility and get an estimate of potential benefits using the online Pension Credit calculator on GOV.UK here.

Alternatively, pensioners can directly contact the Pension Credit helpline to make a claim on 0800 99 1234 – lines are open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

The DWP has also released a new video on YouTube providing a comprehensive step-by-step guide to using the online calculator. You can watch it here.

Additional help if you qualify for Pension Credit

If you’re eligible for Pension Credit, you can also receive other forms of assistance:

  • Housing Benefit if you rent the property you live in
  • Support for Mortgage Interest if you own the property you live in
  • Council Tax discount
  • Free TV licence if you are aged 75 or over
  • Help with NHS dental treatment, glasses and transport costs for hospital appointments
  • Help with your heating costs through the Warm Home Discount Scheme
  • A discount on the Royal Mail redirection service if you are moving house

Mixed-age older couples and Pension Credit

In May 2019, the law was altered so that a ‘mixed age couple’ – a pair where one partner is of State Pension age and the other is not – are considered a ‘working age’ couple when checking entitlement to means-tested benefits.

This implies they cannot claim Pension Credit or pension age Housing Benefit until both partners reach State Pension age. Prior to this DWP change, a mixed-age couple could be eligible to claim the more generous State Pension age benefits when only one of them reached State Pension age.

How to use the Pension Credit calculator

To use the calculator on GOV.UK, you will need details of:

You’ll need the same details for your partner if you have one. You will be presented with a series of questions with multiple-choice answer options.

This includes:

  • Your date of birth
  • Your residential status
  • Where in the UK you live
  • Whether you are registered blind
  • Which benefits you currently receive
  • How much you receive each week for any benefits you get
  • Whether someone is paid Carer’s Allowance to look after you
  • How much you get each week from pensions – State Pension, private and work pensions
  • Any employment earnings
  • Any savings, investments or bonds you have

Once you have answered these questions, a summary screen shows your responses, allowing you to go back and change any answers before submitting. The Pension Credit calculator then displays how much benefit you could receive each week.

All you have to do then is follow the link to the application page to find out exactly what you will get from the DWP, including access to other financial support.

There’s also an option to print off the answers you give using the calculator tool to help you complete the application form quicker without having to look out the same details again. Try the Pension Credit Calculator for yourself or your family member to make sure you’re receiving all the financial support you are entitled to claim.

Who cannot use the Pension Credit calculator? 

You cannot use the calculator if you or your partner:

  • are deferring your State Pension

  • own more than one property

  • are self-employed

  • have housing costs (such as service charges or Crown Tenant rent) which are neither mortgage repayments nor rent covered by Housing Benefit

How to make a claim

You can start your application up to four months before you reach State Pension age. You can claim any time after you reach State Pension age but your claim can only be backdated for three months.

This means you can receive up to three months of Pension Credit in your first payment if you were eligible during that period.

You will require:

  • your National Insurance number

  • information about your income, savings and investments

  • your bank account details, if you’re applying by phone or by post

Apply online

You can utilise the online service if:

  • you have already claimed your State Pension

  • there are no children or young people included in your claim

To check your entitlement, phone the Pension Credit helpline on 0800 99 1234 or use the GOV.UK Pension Credit calculator here to find out how much you could get.



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