Pensioners in their 80s £160 a week better off due to Pension Credit

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A benefits expert has told how he has been helping a couple in their 80s claim Pension Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to top up their state pension. Paul Brennan said it has resulted in the couple being £160 a week better off after just five minutes of work and is urging other pensioners to do a check through a benefits calculator or asking them for help.

Paul set up Benefit Answers – a business aimed at helping people figure out which benefits they’re entitled to – after spending years on the breadline himself.

Now he is helping Britons claim the money they are entitled to, while also fighting the “benefits stigma”.

He became an expert after his father was forced to claim benefits following an accident at work and said, although the system is easier than it was, too many people are still missing out on benefits like Pension Credit.

Paul said: “No one knows how many are missing out – but an estimated £1.7billion in benefit is being left unclaimed.”

The benefits expert told “Tom, 88, and Valerie, 82, contacted us as they thought they might be missing out of benefits. We did a check and found they could be missing an extra £160 a week Pension Credit.

“It took just five minutes to check for them. No one was going to tell them, they had no one to ask until they asked us.

“If they hadn’t that £160 would have continued to sit in the Government coffers.”

Benefit Answers can help people check what they’re entitled to and a successful Pension Credit claim could lead to further ‘freebie’ benefits such as housing benefit, support for mortgage interest, a council tax discount and a free TV licence for someone who is 75 or over.

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Furthermore, it could also lead to help with NHS dental treatment, glasses and help towards transport costs for hospital appointments for Britons on a certain type of Pension Credit.

Paul and his family spent 10 years living on benefits after his father’s work accident and said life on the breadline meant there was a constant struggle to make ends meet.

He explained: “I’ve seen it at the sharp end. There were many nights of going to bed with a hot water bottle and a blanket. We just about managed to get by, but we struggled for a long time”.

Paul used his personal experience to inspire him to create Benefit Answers – a business aimed at helping people figure out which benefits they’re entitled to.

The expert has seen lots of cases where people didn’t know they were entitled to financial support from the DWP.

He continued: “I’ve spent most of my adult life in this sector and I’ve seen every benefit, every welfare reform, and every government excuse there is to see.

“I want to provide the support I couldn’t access as a child and make a difference in the lives of those who need it the most.

“We’ve seen a case where a pensioner couple had been underpaid £200 per week for years, and eventually they were back-paid a lump sum of £15,000.”

Meanwhile, all benefits including Universal Credit, PIP and Pension Credit are rising in April 2023 to keep up with inflation.

The new Pension Credit rates from April 2023 will be:

  • Single person – from £182.60 to £201.05
  • Couple – from £278.70 to £306.85.

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