Pension Credit can top up your low income if you've reached State Pension age. Lots of people who qualify for it aren’t claiming it, so it’s worth checking if you can get it.
Cost of living announcement - May 2022
To help with the rising cost of living, the government recently announced a £650 one-off payment for people on means-tested benefits. If you're getting any of the following benefits, you will receive this payment in two lump sums (of £326 and £324), the first in July and the second in the autumn:
Over-75s now have to pay for their TV licence, unless they're getting Pension Credit. That means it’s more important than ever to check you’re not missing out on claiming Pension Credit. Check if you qualify by using our online benefits calculator.
Who can claim Pension Credit?
There are two types of Pension Credit: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
Your weekly income, including assumed income from savings and capital over £10,000, will need to be less than the minimum amount the government says you need to live on. For 2022/23, this is £182.60 for a single person and £278.70 for a couple. This amount could be higher if you're disabled, a carer or have certain housing costs.
You can only get Savings Credit if:
you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, or you have a partner who reached State Pension age before this date and was already receiving it
and you have qualifying income of at least £158.47 a week for a single person and £251.70 a week for a couple.
£278.70 for a couple (married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting).
Mr Smith 76 years old. He is single, rents his home and has a State Pension of £129.20 a week and an occupational pension of £25 a week. He also has savings of £11,000. The first £10,000 are ignored, and an extra £1 of income is counted for every £500 above this. This means he has a deemed income from savings of £2 a week. So, his income is calculated as:
£129.20 State Pension + £25.00 occupational pension + £2.00 deemed income = £156.20 total income
Mr Smith’s appropriate minimum guarantee is £182.60
£182.60 appropriate minimum guarantee – £156.20 income = £26.40
This gives him Guarantee Credit of £26.40 a week.
You might be able to get more than this if you’re severely disabled, a carer, or have certain housing costs.
If you get Guarantee Pension Credit, you'll be entitled to claim other benefits, including:
£16.20 a week for a couple (married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting).
The exact amount you’ll get depends on your income and savings.
How to claim Pension Credit
To make a claim for Pension Credit, call the claim line on 0800 99 1234.
You can also claim for Pension Credit online, if you've already claimed your State Pension and there are no children or young people included in your claim.
When you claim, you’ll need the following information to hand:
your National Insurance number
information about your income, including your pensions
details of your savings and investments
your bank account details.
If you have a partner, you'll need the same details for them too.
If you can’t claim by phone or online, ask a relative or a voluntary organisation - such as a local Citizens Advice - to request a paper application form on your behalf. You can also download the form to print out.
Rules for mixed-age couples
Since May 2019, the rules if you’re in a couple where one of you is over State Pension age and one is under have changed.
You can only make a new claim for Pension Credit if:
both of you have reached State Pension age, or
one of you has reached State Pension age and is claiming Housing Benefit for you as a couple.
If you already get Pension Credit, your payments will continue, as long as there are no changes to your circumstances.