Martin Lewis has highlighted a 'little-known' benefit that grandparents can apply for to supplement their state pensions.
The growing cost-of-living crisis – driven by soaring energy bills – has been intensified across the UK by fears of increased mortgage repayments.
According to Age UK, about 2.1 million pensioners are already living in poverty, while data in January showed three-quarters of over 65s were worried about rising cost of living.
On Monday, the government said it was stepping up a campaign to make people aware of support available to deal with the crisis.
Lewis, the consumer champion and founder of MoneySavingExpert, said that grandparents should check whether they are entitled to specified adult childcare credits.
The credits work by transferring the national insurance (NI) credit attached to child benefit from the child benefit recipient to a family member who is providing care for a related child under 12.
Eligible applicants will receive a class 3 NI credit for each week or part week they have cared for the child.
Lewis wrote on Twitter: "There's a little known benefit for grandparents who look after their grandchildren while parents work.
"If ur a parent of an under 12, if your parent (ie child's grandparent) do childcare so you can work, u can apply to get em 'Specified Adult Childcare Credit'.
"This means they get the National Insurance years that normally go to a parent who is off work looking after children (as you're working you'll usually be getting from work). This can add £1,000s to a state pension."
Former minister for pensions Steve Webb also shared news of the benefits via his Twitter page last week.
He wrote: "Grandparents (if they are under pension age) can benefit from ‘grandparent credits’ towards their own state pension if they are looking after grandchildren even for a few hours a week."
Watch: Is a UK state pension enough to survive on in retirement?
Information on how to claim specified adult childcare benefits can be found on Gov.uk.
Lewis's comments came on the same day No 10 said the awareness campaign, which began in July, “will be increasing in scope, daytime TV ads started this weekend”.
“We are committed to ensuring the public has the information they need and we are using that campaign to signpost out to where there is more information, for example on Ofgem’s site,” the spokesman said.
However, asked why people were not being explicitly encouraged by the government to use less energy, the spokesman said: “The prime minister’s view is that the government’s role in this is to ensure that we are providing a level of support so that these global factors are not unfairly impacting on the public.
“It is down to individuals to decide what is right for them."
Other energy grants that may be available to some pensioners include the warm home discount, which is available to pensioners and those who get certain benefits, and has increased to £150 in October 2022.