Thank you to those who have contacted me about the take up of Pension Credit. It is important that people who need support are given every opportunity to receive funds to which they are entitled.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) currently engages with people at key moments in their lives when they might be eligible for benefits, such as when they reach pension age and when there is a reported change in their circumstances.
Advice on benefits is also available from DWP staff in Pension Centres and Jobcentres, as well as Local Authority staff who administer Housing Benefit. People can also use the Pension Credit calculator (https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator) to check if they are likely to be eligible and get an estimate of what they may receive. People wishing to claim Pension Credit can call 0800 99 1234 or apply online.
In February, the DWP launched a national campaign to raise awareness of Pension Credit. The aim of the campaign was to encourage those over State Pension age to check whether they are eligible. It made clear that having savings, a pension or owning a home are not automatic barriers to receiving Pension Credit, as well as explaining that even a small award of Pension Credit can provide access to a range of other benefits such as help with rent, council tax and heating.
The DWP also developed the Pension Credit 'toolkit' as an online resource for people in order to encourage take-up. It includes material for this year’s awareness campaign, as well as resources and suggestions to assist agencies and welfare rights organisations to encourage Pension Credit take-up and help pensioners apply for Pension Credit. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit.
I hope this reassures you of the efforts being made to encourage people to find out if they are eligible for Pension Credit. I will continue to follow this issue and engage with the DWP.