A new trial has been launched in Harrow, encouraging pensioners claiming Housing Benefit to also apply for Pension Credit, providing them with additional financial support.
The initiative, led by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), aims to raise awareness among eligible individuals and ensure they receive the financial assistance they are entitled to.
Under the trial, approximately 2,000 pensioners in Harrow and nine other local authorities will receive letters and leaflets inviting them to apply for Pension Credit. These targeted households are already receiving Housing Benefit but have not been claiming Pension Credit.
Pension Credit, which is available to individuals above the State Pension age and on a low income, can provide an average award of over £3,500 per year. Additionally, it can unlock access to other forms of support, including extra Cost of Living payments scheduled for later this year. The government is committed to easing the burden of living expenses for citizens across the country, and Pension Credit is part of these efforts.
The ten local areas selected for the trial represent a diverse range of urban, rural, regional, and national areas to ensure a representative sample. Harrow is one of these chosen locations, recognising the challenges faced by pensioners in the area regarding the cost of living.
Minister for Pensions Laura Trott MBE MP commented on the trial, stating, “We recognise the challenges some pensioners in Harrow will be facing with the cost of living, which is why we are easing those pressures with measures like Pension Credit, alongside driving down inflation.”
Trott noted that the trial aims to explore additional ways to ensure pensioners receive the support they deserve. She also urged individuals below pension age to engage with their older loved ones and encourage them to consider if they could be eligible for this extra financial assistance.
Pension Credit is designed to alleviate daily living costs for those over the State Pension age and with a low income, regardless of whether they receive the State Pension or not. The benefit supplements a person’s income to a minimum of £201.05 per week for single pensioners and £306.85 for couples, with higher amounts available for individuals with disabilities or caring responsibilities.
Applying for Pension Credit can also open doors to other benefits, including help with housing costs, council tax, heating bills, and up to £600 in extra Cost of Living payments later this year. Currently, despite nearly 190,000 pensioners in London and 1.4 million across Great Britain receiving Pension Credit, a significant number are still not claiming this additional financial support.
Pensioners can apply for Pension Credit by phone or online, ensuring a safe and convenient process regardless of their location. An online Pension Credit calculator is also available to help pensioners assess their eligibility and estimate the amount they may receive.
By launching this trial, the DWP aims to reach out to low-income pensioners in Harrow and other selected areas, ensuring they are aware of the financial support available to them through Pension Credit.