Could you be entitled to a free TV licence?

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.

To qualify for Guarantee Pension Credit, you must be State Pension age. Use the Gov.uk online tool to check when you'll reach State Pension age.

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.

Read our factsheet on Pension Credit for full details.

You can use our free benefits calculator to work out if you might be able to get it.

How much you can get

Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to:

  • £182.60 for a single person
  • £278.70 for a couple (married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting).

An example:

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:

Savings Credit can give you up to:

  • £14.48 a week for a single person
  • £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.

Next steps

Read our factsheet Pension Credit for more information or call our free helpline on 0800 319 6789 to arrange to speak to an adviser.

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