Older people in Oxfordshire encouraged to claim their slice of more than £10 million
Pensioners in Oxfordshire are being urged to check if they’re entitled to part of more than £10 million that lays unclaimed in the county.
Local, independent charity Age UK Oxfordshire and Oxfordshire County Council are encouraging older people to check whether they are entitled to Pension Credit, which may in turn enable them to claim even more financial support.
Pension Credit is an income-related benefit that tops up weekly income to £201.05 for a single person and to a joint £306.85 for a couple. An estimated 5,000 older people across the county are not claiming the benefit to which they’re entitled, equating to a staggering £10.4 million in unclaimed entitlement locally.
Paul Ringer, CEO of Age UK Oxfordshire said: “We are aware of the very real pressures and challenges that the cost of living rise is creating for people day to day, and with recent data showing that such a large amount of Pension Credit lies unclaimed in Oxfordshire, we urge people to check whether they or a family member might be entitled to some of that income.”
Registering for Pension Credit can make it easier to unlock other financial entitlements, meaning the overall support can be significantly more than the income top-up itself. This includes Oxfordshire County Council’s Resident Support Scheme, that helps with short- term basic living costs such as food, and credit for gas or electric prepayment meters.
Karen Fuller, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Adult Social Care, said: “It’s quite astonishing that more than ten million pounds worth of support is going unclaimed by people in Oxfordshire who have worked hard all their lives to receive such an entitlement.
“I would encourage anyone who thinks they might be eligible to take the simple steps to check if they can benefit from Pension Credit. And if they can, it might set the ball rolling for even more financial support coming their way.”
Even a small award of Pension Credit can provide access to help with housing costs, council tax or heating bills and, for those over 75, this includes continued entitlement to a free TV licence.
You can apply for Pension Credit online or by phone on 0800 99 1234.
If you want to check if you are entitled to Pension Credit or other benefits, you can use Age UK’s free and anonymous online Benefits Calculator or phone Age UK Oxfordshire’s free information and advice helpline on 0345 450 1276.
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