Provided by Mae Stewart, Editor UNISON Retired members Newsletter,
Dundee, Perth and Angus. Please note that this is not definitive
information about benefits but will provide a signpost as to where
to get up to date information. Please check the sources first. UNISON
Scotland can take no responsibility for information that may be
outdated or inaccurate. The member's information excerpts this month
were taken from the Pensioners Forum Newsletter, and the local Dundee
magazine called Retired & Living in Dundee. My apology for any
Issue 19 April 2008
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Pension Credit 'tops up' your weekly income. Those
over 65 could also be eligible for savings credit. As Pension Credit
rates have risen by more than State Retirement Pension rates, even
if your income was too high to claim last year, you may now be able
Guarantee Credit - aged 60 or over
If you are aged 60 or more you may qualify for the
guarantee credit part of Pension Credit. Guarantee credit is extra
money each week to bring your income up to the minimum amount the
Government considers you need to live on.
You can normally get guarantee credit if your weekly
income is less than:
Guarantee credit should bring your income up to these
For example, a single person with a weekly income
of £100 will get a guarantee credit of £19.05 a week to make £119.05
altogether and a couple living on £150 a week will get an extra
£31.70 to make £181.70.
If you are severely disabled or a carer you may get
more guarantee credit. If your savings are more than £6,000 you
will get less. There is no upper limit to the amount of savings
you can have. If your savings are very high - in the tens of thousands
of pounds - that will mean you get much less Pension Credit, maybe
none at all. But it is always worth applying.
Savings Credit - age 65 or over
If you are 65 or over you may get the savings credit
part of Pension Credit. Savings credit is extra money each week
for people who have an income that is higher than the basic State
Retirement Pension or have modest savings.
You may get it by itself if your income is too high
to get guarantee credit. Or you may get some savings credit paid
on top of guarantee credit. If you are married or a civil partner
- or live with someone as if you are - then only one of you has
to be aged 65 or over.
You can normally get savings credit if your weekly
income is less than:
£166.68 if you are single; or
£244.85 between you if you are married or live
as a couple, including two men or two women who live together
as a couple.
If you are severely disabled add £48.45 to these amounts.
If you are a carer add £27.15.
Savings credit is not a fixed amount - it will boost
your income up to these amounts.
For example, a single person aged 67 with a weekly
income of £125 will normally get an extra £16.67 a week to make
£141.67 altogether. And a couple living on £185 a week will normally
get an extra £23.94 to make a total income of £208.94.
The maximum amount of savings credit you can get is
£19.05 if you are single or £25.26 between you if you are a couple.
How to claim Pension Credit
The easiest way to claim Pension Credit is over the
phone. You do not have to fill in a form yourself or visit an office.
You just ring a free number 0800 99 1234 and the form will
be filled in for you and posted to you. All you need to do is check
it, sign it and post it back.
When you call, it will speed things up if you have
your National Insurance number and details of your income and savings
If you need someone to visit you, to help with claiming,
then you can request this by calling 0845 60 60 265 or by
contacting your local benefits office.
If you prefer, you can go to The
Pension Service website and fill in the form there and print
it out and post it.
When you send back the form make sure you send any
other documents that you have been asked for. If you can, it is
best to keep a photocopy of everything you send and write down the
date you sent them.
Once you apply, Pension Credit is backdated for
up to 12 months.
Claiming Pension Credit: 0800 991 234 [freephone]
Free advice: SeniorLine: 0808 800 6565 [freephone]
Apologies for any misquotes in the above information.
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