John Palmer, Director of Communications and Policy at Independent Age said:
“Today’s Pension Credit figures are disappointing. While the statistics released today show that 31,000 people had started receiving Pension Credit in the three months up to November 2022, it is merely a drop in the ocean compared to the hundreds of thousands of eligible people still missing out. It’s hard to know the exact number not receiving the money they are entitled to, as the last published uptake figures the Government provided are for 2019/20, but these showed up to 850,000 eligible older people not receiving the benefit. Though this number will have decreased, there are likely still hundreds of thousands of older people on a low income eligible for this money and not receiving it.
“These numbers show that the government’s broad brush approach of awareness raising simply isn’t working fast enough. That’s why we have continually called on the government to implement a Pension Credit uptake strategy that’s targeted and focused on getting money to those that are eligible. Older people in need of Pension Credit do not have time to waste, they desperately need this money now.
“The cost of living crisis is having a severe impact on many older people up and down the country. Pension Credit is potentially life changing for recipients, but it still has one of the worst uptake rates of all the state benefits. This is unacceptable, especially during a turbulent period of high costs that is causing such misery. Today’s small increase suggests the number of people missing out is still likely to be staggeringly high.”