The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales is urging older people on low incomes to check their eligibility for Pension Credit and apply immediately to ensure they don’t miss out on the UK Government’s latest cost of living payment.
It is estimated that up to 80,000 older people in Wales do not receive the Pension Credit they are entitled to, meaning they miss out on crucial financial support, as well as additional entitlements such as council tax discounts and help with housing costs, free dental and eye care, and free TV Licences for people aged 75+.
This year, older people who are eligible for Pension Credit but have not applied by 18 December will also miss out on the £324 cost of living payment being made available by the UK Government to people on means-tested benefits.
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“The impact of the cost-of-living crisis is putting the health of many older people throughout Wales at risk as they cut back on essentials in an effort to save money as we face another difficult Winter.
“That’s why it’s so important that older people receive the financial support they are entitled to, such as Pension Credit, which is worth an average of £65 a week to those who claim and unlocks a range of other important entitlements that provide further support.
“It’s estimated, however, that up to 80,000 older people in Wales are missing out on Pension Credit totalling £200 million that could make a positive difference to their lives. This money should be in older people’s pockets, not left unclaimed at the Treasury in Westminster.
“And this year, older people who do not receive Pension Credit despite being eligible will also miss out on the UK Government’s additional £324 cost of living payment, which could also make a big difference to people’s finances as inflation and living costs continue to spiral.
“So I’m urging older people on incomes of less than £182.60 a week to check their eligibility for Pension Credit and make a claim by 18 December to make sure they don’t miss out.
“While the process can seem daunting, support is available from a variety of organisations – including Age Cymru, Age Connects and Citizens Advice – that can guide older people through every step of the process.”
The Commissioner is also calling on individuals and organisations working with and for older people throughout Wales to do all they can to raise awareness about Pension Credit and encourage older people who are eligible to claim what’s theirs.
She’s asking people to join her in making a Pension Credit Promise, to highlight the action they will take – however big or small – to help ensure older people do not miss out.
The Commissioner added:
“I’m pleased that there’s already been a positive response to my call for people to make their Pension Credit Promise, with pledges secured from the Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt MS; Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan MS; other MSs and MPs; and professionals working directly with older people.
“By highlighting and sharing the action being taken, I want to inspire and encourage further action to reach out to older people in communities throughout Wales.
“Working together, we can make a positive difference to thousands of lives by helping to ensure that older people surviving on the lowest incomes – many of whom are amongst the most vulnerable members of society – do not miss out on the support they’re entitled to.”
ENDSMake your Pension Credit Promise