Millions of Brits could be missing out on extra cash to supplement their pension income, with benefit payments worth up to £9,000 going unclaimed each year. Billions of pounds in benefits remain unclaimed annually, leaving millions across the UK without financial support they’re entitled to, particularly affecting those over the state pension age. There are two key benefits aimed at aiding older Brits with low incomes.

Pension Credit, which is overlooked by an estimated 850,000 eligible individuals, results in about £1.8 billion not reaching those who qualify, research from Policy in Practice reveals. Additionally, roughly 1.1 million people fail to claim Attendance Allowance, amounting to an unclaimed sum of approximately £5.2 billion.

Research from both Policy in Practice and MoneySavingExpert.com highlights Attendance Allowance as one of the “most underclaimed” benefits. For those over the state pension age and on a low income, Pension Credit serves as a crucial benefit. Eligible claimants can have their weekly income boosted to £218.15 for singles or £332.95 for couples, reports the Mirror.

On average, this equates to around £3,900 per year and provides access to additional benefits such as council tax reductions, a free TV Licence, and Cold Weather Payments. Meanwhile, Attendance Allowance, a disability benefit for individuals over the state pension age, can offer additional financial support of up to £434 each month, approximately £5,644 annually, for those with long-term health conditions or disabilities. Those eligible for both benefits but not claiming could be missing out on as much as £9,544 per year.

How to claim Pension Credit

To claim Pension Credit, you can apply online via the Government’s website, call 0800 99 1234, or complete and submit a paper application form. A friend or family member can make the call on your behalf, but you must be present during the call.

You will need certain information before applying:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • Information about any income, savings and investments you have
  • Information about your income, savings and investments on the date you want to backdate your application to (usually three months ago or the date you reached state pension age)
  • Your bank, building society or credit union account details

How to claim Attendance Allowance

To claim Attendance Allowance, you need to download, print, and send off the claim form to the DWP. The claim form is available on the Gov.uk website.

Alternatively, you can request a claim form by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline at 0800 731 0122. The amount of Attendance Allowance you receive is determined by how your condition or disability impacts your daily life, not the specific condition or disability you have. This means a wide range of conditions could potentially qualify.

When completing the Attendance Allowance form, it’s crucial to detail how your illness or disability affects your life. You’ll also need to provide supporting documents such as GP letters, care plans, or prescription lists.

As per the DWP website, after applying, you should receive a text or letter within three weeks outlining the expected decision timeframe. Once a decision has been made, you’ll receive a letter detailing the outcome and when your first payment will be made.

If you are terminally ill and not expected to live more than 12 months, there is a faster application process, and you should receive a decision within two weeks.