Older homeowners are being encouraged to check their state benefit entitlement as research shows just over half have never done so.
Excluding the state pension, 52% of homeowners over the age of 65 have never checked whether they are entitled to some form of benefit according to research by HUB Financial Solutions.
This figure is much lower among renters, of whom just 20% have never checked.
One in 10 (9%) of homeowners over the age of 65 were eligible to claim guarantee pension credit in 2018, but only 56% of those entitled to the benefit did.
Here's a breakdown of how much those who newly claimed received on average in 2018:
|2018||Guarantee pension credit||Savings pension credit||Council tax reduction||Other*|
|Entitled to claim||9%||13%||32%||9%|
|Average annual value of new claim identified||£1,889||£434||£745||£1,260|
Many could be missing out on thousands of pounds worth of entitlements as a result of not checking their entitlement or claiming.
Simon Gray, managing director of HUB Financial Solutions says: “Our fear is that homeowners on low incomes are missing out because they assume they are not eligible or do not know how to check if they are.”
“Official figures show that more than £3 billion of pensioner benefits go unclaimed each year by more than a million households. The question is why so many people are not checking their eligibility and potentially missing out on some of the billions we know is going unclaimed.”
“Year on year, statistics prove that the take up of key pensioner benefits is far lower than it should be, with people missing out on more than £100 a week income in some cases, which could make a massive difference to their lives.”
“It raises concerns about whether the system is too complicated or if the guidance and information available is easy enough to access for those who need it most.”
Find out if you’re eligible
To find out if you are eligible for both guarantee and savings pension credit you can use the government's own calculator.
You’ll need information on earnings, benefits and pensions, savings and investments to use the tool, plus the same details for a partner if you have one.
If you are unable to or prefer not to use the online calculator you can call the Pension Service helpline instead on 0800 731 0469, or the pension credit application line on 0800 99 1234.
Both are free to call and are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, except public holidays.
The government also encourages people to use one of three separate online benefit calculators to find out eligibility for other benefits. Those are:
entitledto - for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, council tax reduction, carer’s allowance, universal credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work
Turn2us - for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, council tax reduction, carer’s allowance, universal credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours
Policy in Practice - for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, council tax reduction, carer’s allowance, universal credit, how these are calculated and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours
For these calculators you’ll need the accurate information on the following:
- Income, including your partner’s (from payslips, for example)
- Existing benefits and pensions (including anyone living with you)
- Outgoings (such as rent, mortgage, childcare payments)
- Council tax bill
Moneywise also keeps up to date on what other benefits you could be entitled to over the age of 65. Find out more here.