Pension credit - are you eligible?
Age NI is urging older people in Ballymena to check their eligibility for Pension Credit as it was revealed that around a third of those eligible in Northern Ireland, almost 31,000 families, are not claiming the payments.
With an average payment of £32 a week, pensioners could be missing out on over £1600 a year, per recipient, amounting to almost £50million in unclaimed benefits in Northern Ireland alone.
Pension Credit is a benefit to help with living costs if you’re over state pension age, by topping up weekly income. Being found to be eligible for Pension Credit also acts as a gateway to some other benefits, potentially transforming an older person’s standard of living.
Brenda Kearns, Age NI Head of Advice and Advocacy, explained, “There are several barriers that mean older people do not claim Pension Credit they are entitled to, some of this is due to a lack of awareness, and for others, the process of claiming a benefit may seem difficult.
“We are encouraging older people of pensionable age to get in touch with Age NI. We provide a free, confidential service over the phone, to do some straightforward checks.
“A free benefit check in no way affects any other payments or income, so there is nothing to lose in doing the check or making the claim.
“It is frustrating that this money, which is rightfully available, is sitting unclaimed.
“The process of accessing it is quick and easy and, even with modest weekly amounts, it can make a huge difference when unexpected costs arise.”
If you would like to get in touch, call 0808 808 7575.”