DWP pays state pensioners a supplement of £5,200 per year after a certain age

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published new figures showing that almost 12.7 million older people in the UK are currently receiving a fixed income from the state pension.

The benefit is available to people who have reached the UK government retirement age of 66 and have paid at least 10 years’ National Insurance contributions.

However, people over 80 who do not have a Basic State Pension income or receive less than £101.55 per week may be entitled to additional funds to help with the day-to-day costs of living. The ‘Over 80 Pension’ provides £101.55 per week to those who do not receive a Basic State Pension, or tops up their income to this amount.

In addition, people aged 66 and over on low incomes may be eligible for Pension Credit, which provides an average of more than £3,900 in additional financial support each year.

Applying for the ’80+ Pension’

Please note that you are not entitled to the ’80-plus pension’ if you reached the AOW age on or after 6 April 2016. If you did, you will be eligible for the new AOW pension.

According to the guidelines on GOV.uk, you may be eligible for the Over 80 pension if all of the following conditions are met:

  • You are 80 years or older

  • You are not receiving a basic state pension or your basic state pension is less than £101.55 per week

  • You have been resident in the UK for at least 10 out of the 20 years (this does not have to be 10 consecutive years) – this 20-year period must include the day before or one day after your 80th birthday

  • You were ‘ordinarily resident’ in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man or Gibraltar on your 80th birthday or on the date you made the claim for this pension, if later

If you live in or are moving to a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can find out more about pensions and benefits for British nationals in the EU, EEA and Switzerland on GOV.UK here.

How do I claim?

You can obtain a claim form from:

The earliest you can claim is three months before your 80th birthday. You can get a claim form from the Pension Service by calling 0800 731 7898. Full details can be found on GOV.UK here.

Pension credit

Pension Credit provides additional funds to help with living costs for people over state pension age and on low incomes. It also provides access to a variety of other benefits.

What counts as income for Pension Credit

Your income includes:

  • AOW

  • other pensions

  • income from employment and self-employment

  • most social security benefits, such as health care allowance

What does not count as income

Not all benefits count as income. For example, the following do not count:

  • Payment for adults with disabilities

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Christmas bonus

  • Child benefits

  • Disabled person allowance

  • Personal Independence Payment

  • payments from the social fund such as the Winter Fuel Allowance

  • Rent allowance

  • Discount on municipal tax

As little as £1 a week is enough to access other forms of support, such as help with housing costs, energy bills and council tax.

The fastest way to check your pension credit entitlement

Older people, as well as friends and family, can quickly check their eligibility and estimate what they could receive by using the online Pension Credit calculator on GOV.UK here.

Pensioners can also contact the Pension Credit helpline directly to make a claim. You can call 0800 99 1234. Lines are open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

The DWP has also published a new video on YouTube which provides a complete step-by-step guide to using the online calculator. You can watch it here.

Other assistance if you receive Pension Credit

If you qualify for pension credit, you may also be able to get other help, such as:

  • Housing benefit if you rent the home you live in

  • Mortgage interest support if you own the property you live in

  • Discount on municipal tax

  • Free TV license if you are 75 or older

  • Help with NHS dental treatment, glasses and transport costs for hospital appointments

  • Help with your heating costs through the Warm Home Discount Scheme

  • Discount on Royal Mail forwarding service if you are moving house

Mixed-age older couples and pension credit

In May 2019, the law was changed to mean that a ‘mixed-age couple’ (a couple where one partner has reached state pension age and the other has not) is considered a ‘working’ couple when checking eligibility for income-related benefits.

This means that they cannot claim pension credit or pensionable housing benefit until they have both reached state pension age. Before this DWP change, a mixed couple could qualify for the more generous state pension age benefits if only one of them had reached state pension age.

How to use the Pension Credit Calculator

To use the calculator on GOV.UK you will need the following information:

You will need the same information for your partner if you have one. You will be given a series of questions with multiple choice answer options.

This includes:

  • Your date of birth

  • Your residential status

  • Where in the UK you live

  • Whether you are registered blind

  • What benefits you are currently receiving

  • How much you receive each week for any benefits you receive

  • Whether someone receives a caregiver allowance to care for you

  • How much you receive per week from pension – AOW, private and company pensions

  • All income from employment

  • Any savings, investments or bonds you have

Once you have answered these questions, your answers will be displayed on a summary screen, allowing you to go back and change any answers before submitting them. The Pension Credit calculator will then show you how much benefit you can receive each week.

All you need to do is follow the link to the application page, where you will find out exactly what you will get from the DWP, including access to other financial support.

There is also an option to print out the answers you provide using the calculator, so you can complete the application form more quickly without having to look up the same details again. Try the Pension Credit Calculator for yourself or your family member to make sure you receive all the financial support you are entitled to.

For whom is the Pension Credit Calculator not useful?

You cannot use the calculator if you or your partner:

  • postpone your AOW benefit

  • own more than one home

  • are self-employed

  • have housing costs (such as service charges or rent from the Crown) that are neither mortgage costs nor rent that fall under the Rent Allowance

How to file a claim

You can claim up to four months before you reach state pension age. You can claim at any time after state pension age, but your claim can only be backdated by three months. This means you could receive up to three months of pension credit with your first payment if you were eligible during that time.

You will need:

  • your citizen service number

  • information about your income, savings and investments

  • your bank account details, if you submit a request by telephone or post

If you want to backdate your claim, you will need information about your income, savings and investments on the date you want your claim to start.

You can use the online service if:

To check if you are entitled, call the Pension Credit helpline on 0800 99 1234 or use the GOV.UK Pension Credit calculator here to work out how much you could get.

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