Have you heard about the planned changes to the TV licence fee?

The BBC is planning to start charging over-75s for their licence fee unless they are receiving Pension Credit. That means it’s more important than ever to check you’re not missing out on Pension Credit. Check whether you’re eligible using our online benefits calculator now.

Who can claim it?

There are two types of Pension Credit: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

To be eligible for Guarantee Pension Credit, you must be State Pension age. You can check when you'll reach State Pension age on Gov.uk.

Your weekly income, including assumed income from savings and capital over £10,000, will need to be below the minimum amount the government says you need to live on: usually £167.25 for a single person or £255.25 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.

If you’re eligible for Savings Pension Credit, you or your partner must have reached State Pension age and have qualifying income of at least £144.38 a week for a single person or £229.67 a week for a couple – see our factsheet Pension Credit for full details.

You can use our free personalised benefits calculator to work out if you might be eligible. 

How much can I get?

Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to:

  • £167.25 for a single person
  • £255.25 for a couple (married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting).

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 may also be eligible for other benefits, including:

  • free NHS dental treatment and sight tests
  • help with the cost of glasses and contact lenses
  • help with travel costs to hospital
  • full Housing Benefit if you rent
  • reduced Council Tax
  • Cold Weather Payments
  • a Warm Home discount.

Savings Credit can give you:

  • up to £13.73 a week for a single person
  • up to £15.35 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’ll need:

  • your National Insurance number
  • information about your income, including your pensions
  • details of your savings and investments
  • your bank account details.

If you can’t claim by phone, ask a relative or a voluntary organisation such as a local Citizens Advice to request a paper application form on your behalf.

Watch our animation on how to claim Pension Credit:

Claiming Pension Credit

New rules for mixed-age couples

From 15 May 2019, the rules are changing if you’re in a couple where one of you is over Pension Credit qualifying age and one is under, and you want to make a new claim.

You’ll only be able 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.

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