Martin Lewis Urges Older People Not to Miss Out on £5,000 Annual Housing Benefit
Consumer champion Martin Lewis has urged 250,000 pensioners not to miss out on a potential £5,000 in Housing Benefit payments per year. A new report from think-tank Policy in Practice suggests that unclaimed Housing Benefit amounts to £929m annually for pensioner households.
Lewis noted that those receiving Pension Credit – a top-up for incomes below a certain level – must apply separately to receive Housing Benefit through local councils. This can be missed by those who receive Universal Credit, where Housing Benefit is automatically included.
People over 66 who claim Pension Credit before midnight on 19 May are also eligible for a means-tested cost of living payment – including a lump sum of £301 – worth around £900.
Pension Credit is currently given to 1.4 million people in the UK to help with living costs, but many who are eligible believe they are not due to savings or home ownership. The Department for Work and Pensions suggests that hundreds of thousands of potential recipients may be missing out on the extra money and benefits the credit provides.
Other benefits available to those with Pension Credit include council tax discounts, free TV licences for those aged 75 and above, support for mortgage interest payments and Warm Home Discount Schemes. Those using the Pension Credit calculator on the government’s website must input details such as the value of their savings, weekly benefit amounts and employment earnings.
– A pensioner was jailed after stealing £19,000 in Pension Credit payments from his mother, who had entrusted him with her finances.
– Disabled people who face losing their mobility vehicle payments during a benefit switch have seen their claims for legal aid rejected in nine out of ten cases.
– A UK court recently ruled against the Department for Work and Pensions in a case that saw the ministry abruptly halt all communications with a claimant who refused to attend a benefits assessment.
– Pension Credit is separate from other benefits and must be applied for independently.
– Claimants can also benefit from reduced council tax rates, discounts on TV licences, mortgage interest payments and more.
– Those who receive Pension Credit can also apply for Housing Benefit, which amounts to £929m in unclaimed benefits per year.
Pension Credit remains a key way for pensioners to boost their incomes, but many eligible people require better information regarding the full range of benefits available. Those who receive the credit should also apply separately for Housing Benefit, as this is not automatically included in Universal Credit payments. With £929m unclaimed in Housing Benefit each year, claimants cannot afford to miss out on this vital support.