Did you know that if you’re over state pension age, you might be eligible for Pension Credit even if you own your own home or have savings? When we’re all struggling with the cost of living crisis, it’s really important to check if you’re entitled to Pension Credit to help with household bills.

Pension Credit is aimed at retired people on low incomes and can be worth £1,000s a year. The benefit tops up weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level of £182.60 a week for single pensioners or £278.70 for couples and is tax-free.

Currently, more than 1.4 million pensioners in Britain receive Pension Credit. However, close to one million pensioners are still not claiming an average income boost of £3,300 a year which could make a huge difference when food and energy bills are rising so fast.

Citizens Advice Watford are encouraging everyone with retired family, friends and loved ones to check in with them and see if they can get this extra financial support.

It’s really important to claim now because people hitting state pension age on or before 25 May 2022, and who have applied for Pension Credit by 24 August 2022 should receive up to £650 as part of the Government's new cost of living support package.

Lots of people are unsure about applying, so here are some answers from Citizens Advice Watford to common questions about Pension Credit.

Is it worth applying?

The answer is a big yes. Even if you qualify for a small amount, it will open doors to extra support, including help with energy bills, council tax and dental treatment, and also free TV licences for over 75s.

Can you only apply if you have a state pension?

No, you don’t need to be in receipt of a state pension to be eligible.

But I have savings so presumably I won’t qualify?

You can still qualify, even if you have some savings or another pension. If you have £10,000 or less in savings and investments this will not affect your Pension Credit at all.

I own my home, is that a barrier to receiving Pension Credit?

Owning a home isn’t a reason not to apply. Home owners can be eligible for pension credit. In fact almost half of people getting Pension Credit own their home.

How do I apply?

Many people think Pension Credit is automatically received. It is not - you have to apply. You can start your application up to 4 months before you reach State Pension age and you can apply any time after you reach state pension age but the application can only be backdated by three months. To apply, either use the government online process here, or call the Pension Credit claim telephone line on 0800 99 1234.

The advice from Citizens Advice Watford is if you're of state pension age (66 or older) and have total weekly income under roughly £200, then don’t delay in finding out if you’re eligible. If you're comfortable using a computer, the quickest way to find out if you qualify for Pension Credit is by using the Government's free Pension Credit calculator here. If you’d rather speak to someone, call Citizens Advice Watford on 0800 144 8848 or the Pension Service helpline on 0800 99 1234. It’s quick to check if you qualify, so don't delay.