Elderly in east London may be entitled Pension Credit, minister reveals

Pensions minister Guy Opperman... urging retired people to claim Pension Credit

Pensions minister Guy Opperman... urging retired people to claim Pension Credit - Credit: Pensions Dept

Pensioners are being urged in a new a government campaign launched today to check if they are eligible for Pension Credit.

Latest figures reveal that many could be missing out on financial help that they’re entitled to. 

The move by the pensions minister follows an initiative nearly a year ago by Tower Hamlets Council to make sure older people were making the claim. 

But 11 months on, some are still not claiming this extra financial help, according to pensions under secretary Guy Opperman. 

“We want to make sure that all older people receive the support they are entitled to,” he said in a statement to the East London Advertiser today (February 24). “I also want to encourage everyone with retired family or friends to check in with them to see if they could be eligible for extra financial assistance through Pension Credit.”  

Tower Hamlets ran a project last April identifying and contacting retired people in the East End who might be eligible for Pension Credit. It resulted in 80 people successfully claiming their entitlement, an average of £37.54 extra a week, or £1,952 a year.  

The council is running the project again this April, the town hall has confirmed to the Advertiser.  

Mayor John Biggs... encouraging OAPs to claim Pension Credit

Mayor John Biggs... encouraging OAPs to claim Pension Credit - Credit: Mike Brooke

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Mayor John Biggs said: “We are pleased the government is finally acting on this issue and encouraging older people to claim the benefits they’re entitled to. We will be repeating our local campaign of writing to residents which has already meant those contacted were around £2,000 better off this year.’’  

Nearly 200,000 pensioners across London currently receive the payments. Pension Credit can be claimed by phone on 0800 991234 or by the online Pension Credit calculator to check if they’re eligible and get an estimate of what they can receive. 

Having savings, a pension or owning a home are not necessarily barriers to receiving Pension Credit and other benefits such as help with housing costs, council tax or heating bills, it is pointed out. Those over 75 who have Pension Credit are also entitled to free TV licence.