THOUSANDS of people could be missing out on the £650 cost of living payment by not claiming Pension Credit – and you only have one week left to get it.
The £650 cost of living payment, which is being handed out by the government, has been split into two payments of £324 and £326.
Around eight million people are supposed to get it.
The first instalment was paid to the majority of those who are eligible last month and the second £324 chunk is due to be paid this autumn.
But there are almost a million pensioners who might miss out of the £650 payment because they're not claiming Pension Credit when they're eligible.
The £650 payment can be paid to those in receipt of Pension Credit.
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And the deadline to claim for the benefit in time to be able to get the £650 cost of living payment is before August 18, so you only have a week left.
It's worth noting that you can't claim directly for the cost of living payment once you have made your claim for Pension Credit.
However, you could be eligible for the £650 because Pension Credit claims can be backdated by up to three months which would mean you hitting the qualifying period.
That's if you meet the August 18 deadline.
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It comes after energy bills were predicted to rise to around £4,200 in January as households brace for a tough winter.
The latest forecast from energy experts Cornwall Insights comes as wholesale costs for gas and electricity surge.
Who is eligible for Pension Credit?
Pension Credit is there to give those over the State Pension age a boost if they're on a low income.
The benefit can be used to help with housing costs like ground rent or service charges and is only available to residents in England, Scotland or Wales.
When you apply, the government calculates your income to see if you're eligible for help.
Whether you'll receive the benefit will depend on the money you have coming in.
There are two parts to Pension Credit – Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. You may be entitled to one or both parts.
Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to a minimum amount whereas Savings Credit is a small top-up for people who have a small amount of income or savings.
How do I claim Pension Credit?
You have to apply to receive Pension Credit on the government's website.
You can also call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.
And you can apply by post, however, with the deadline just a week away this might mean you're not guaranteed a successful application.
You can start your application up to four months before reaching State Pension age.
State Pension age is currently 66 for both men and women.
You can also apply any time after reaching the State Pension age but your application can only be backdated by three months.
This means you could get up to three months of the benefit in your first payment if you were eligible across that period.
If you're applying, you'll need the following information about you, and your partner if you have one, ready to hand:
- 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 3 months ago or the date you reached State Pension age)
You'll also need your bank account details.
Can I get more help as a pensioner?
On top of the £650 cost of living payment, some pensioners will be eligible for further payments from the government.
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They'll get an extra £300 one-off payment during the coldest months and those with disabilities will be handed £150.
We previously reported on all the key dates for the cost of living payments.
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