Less than 24 hours to claim pension credit and get £301 cost of living payment

Everything you need to know about pension credit, and why it's important to make sure you get your cost of living payment

Caucasian woman in her 50s concentrating, peering at screen, working on home finances, planning for retirement
Pensioners are being urged to check whether they're eligible for pension credit. (Stock image: Getty)

Time is quickly running out for pensioners to apply for backdated pension credits that could include a £301 cost of living payment.

Less than 24 hours remain to take advantage of the government payment, which goes directly into recipients' bank accounts, with applications closing on Friday, 19 May.

Urging pensioners to check if they're eligible before it's too late, MP for Merthyr Tydfil Gerald Jones tweeted: "Less than 24 hours to apply.

"Backdated Pension Credit applications close on Friday 19 May. If you are eligible this could include a cost of living payment worth £301. Don't miss out on what you're owed."

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Those on low incomes could be eligible for pension credit and qualify for the latest payment to help them cope during the current cost of living crisis.

Hundreds of thousands of people who are eligible for pension credit do not claim it, so the government is urging those who may be entitled to a top-up of their state pension to apply before Friday to ensure they receive it, as well as the cost of living payment and other payments and discounts.

Pensions Minister Laura Trott said: "Pension credit can make a real difference and I am determined to make sure this support – worth an average of £3,500 a year – is reaching everyone who needs it, particularly as we know how much pressure households across the country have been under.

"Please check if you or your loved ones can claim for this extra support."

What is pension credit and who is entitled to it?

Pension credit is designed to help people over state pension age and on a low income with daily living costs, though someone does not need to be in receipt of the state pension to receive it.

The payment tops up a person’s weekly income to a minimum of £201.05 for single pensioners and to £306.85 for couples or more if a person has a disability or caring responsibilities.

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Pension credit can also help people access other benefits, including housing costs, council tax or heating bills, as well as the cost-of-living payments.

Around 1.4 million pensioners across Britain receive pension credit, but many who could be eligible are believed to not be claiming the extra help.

Why is it important people register before the deadline?

Registering before the 19 May deadline will not just ensure low-income pensioners get access to Pension Credit, but will also mean they get the latest cost of living payment of £301.

As long as a claim is made before the deadline, it can be backdated for up to three months, providing the applicant was also eligible to receive it during that time.

It would ensure not only that the person gets the latest cost-of-living payment, but that they get two more payments of about £300 due to be given to people on a low income and receiving certain benefits over the next year.

How do I find out if I can claim pension credit?

Pensioners can check their eligibility and get an estimate of what they may receive by using an online pension credit calculator.

Applications for pension credit can be made in various ways, such as by printing and filling out a paper form, visiting www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim, or over the phone by calling 0800 99 1234 (phone lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm).