BENEFITS EXPERT: Cost of living support if you have reached pension age

Here’s some information around cost of living support - this only applies to clients who have reached pension age.

"Pensioners should also be receiving their normal Winter Fuel Payment."
"Pensioners should also be receiving their normal Winter Fuel Payment."

If you have claimed your state pension or at least had a pension forecast advising how much your pension will be then we would advise you have a benefit check to establish if you may be entitled to Pension Credit (either the guaranteed element, savings element or both).

Pension Credit claims can be made in advance before you reach State pension age and can be backdated up to three months. If you can show entitlement to Pension Credit for the preceding three months of the relevant date i.e.18/12/2022 then you can be eligible for the second cost of living payment of £324. You might not have been entitled to the first payment of £326 for a number of reasons but that won’t preclude you from getting the second payment.

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You must show entitlement to Pension Credit for each day prior to the December 18 2022 date.

Pensioners should also be receiving their normal Winter Fuel Payment and this year an additional £300 per household will be added to the normal award.

No claims process is required and payments should be issued from 23/11/2022 onwards with the expectation most pensioners will receive the payment within two months from the aforementioned date.

If you are expecting a payment and none is received then you can query this by calling 0800 731 0160.

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In other news regarding benefits, the government has confirmed that most benefits will increase from April 2023 by 10.1% - there will be no increase to Local Housing Allowances.

So if you are a private tenant and have your rental cost met by either Universal Credit or Housing Benefit then the rates will remain the same.

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It is likely there will be additional support given to councils for Discretionary Housing Payments.

Rental assistance for council tenants or social tenants is different, any rental increases won’t be subject to restrictions (subject to some service charges being ineligible) but the government is urging councils and social landlords to keep any proposed increases as low as possible.