Helping London’s pensioners get the credit they’ve earned
Roger Evans, Deputy Mayor and Assembly Member talks about our campaign to raise awareness of Pension Credit…
This week, I’m launching the Mayor’s annual Pension Credit campaign in my Redbridge and Havering constituency. Now in its eighth year, the campaign will run from January to April 2016t. It aims to raise awareness of the benefits older Londoners may be entitled to – with a focus on Pension Credit.
This ‘passport benefit’ is a great way for older people to top up their weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level. If you’re a single pensioner on less than £151.20 a week, or a couple on less than £230.85, you may be entitled to claim Pension Credit. Even if your income is above this level you could be eligible for extra benefit support. Pension Credit also means you may be able to claim help with your household and fuel bills as well as healthcare costs.
City Hall estimates that over 150,000 older Londoners are missing out on benefits they’re entitled to. Given the number of pensioners living in poverty in the capital - this is unacceptably high. There are several reasons that older Londoners may be missing out. Many think they’re not eligible. Others find the process of making a claim too difficult. Then there are those who feel uncomfortable with claiming benefits of any kind. Recent changes to the welfare system have also left some pensioners not knowing what benefits are available. Together, these issues show why our campaign is so important for the welfare of older Londoners.
This year we’re focusing our efforts on 14 key London boroughs. These are areas with a high number of older people on low incomes. Local Age UK centres are running events and outreach programmes throughout the campaign to reach these groups and raise awareness of Pension Credit. Find your nearest Age UK is and for information on local events.
If you are not eligible for Pension Credit you may still be able to claim other benefits. These include Attendance Allowance, Carers Allowance and help with energy costs.