Pensioners in Salford could be missing out on hundreds of pounds a month by not claiming Pension Credit.
Salford City Council estimates that up to £2 million in Pension Credit is not being claimed in the city.
Now it is urging older people to check if they can claim the income related benefit which could also unlock further support. Even people with savings or one or more occupational pension may be entitled to claim and it only takes a phone call to check.
Council officers have already started raising awareness amongst community groups as part of the city’s work to tackle poverty.
And the race is on to alert couples, where one partner is at or above pension age and the other below. From 15 May this year couples in that situation will only be able to claim Universal Credit which will be at least £130 a week less than Pension Credit.
Charlotte Ramsden, Strategic Director of People, said: “It takes one simple phone call to check and claim Pension Credit if you’re entitled, and it could make a big difference to your weekly income. It’s particularly important for couples – married or co-habiting - where one partner has reached Pension Credit age and the other has not as big changes to the benefit in May will leave them significantly worse off.
“Even if you only get a small amount of Pension Credit, it can help you get housing benefit and council tax reduction as well as help with health care and energy costs and cold weather payments.
“If you have a disability, long-term ill health or you are a carer for someone then you may be entitled to more Pension Credit. It can be up to £36 extra a week for carers and up to £65 or £131 extra a week for single people or couples receiving disability benefits.
“If you’re unsure about Pension Credit or what other benefits you may be entitled to, then our please contact our welfare rights advice line 0800 345 7375 Monday to Friday between 10am and 12 noon, or look out for our regular BetterOff coffee and chat sessions. You can also get help from Citizen’s Advice or Age UK.”
The Pension Credit claim line is 0800 99 1234 and you can ask for a paper claim form if you prefer. Or go to the GOV.UK website for more information.