Pension Credit is a weekly benefit to boost your income. It’s based on how much money you have coming in.
There are two parts to Pension Credit, called Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. You might get one or both parts.
Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to a minimum amount.
Savings Credit is a small top-up for people who have a modest amount of income or savings. It’s only available if you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016.
To claim Pension Credit you must:
have reached State Pension age - check your State Pension age on GOV.UK
not have too much income or savings
live in the UK
You can still be working, as long as your income isn't too high.
Unlike the State Pension, you don’t need a national insurance record.
To apply for Pension Credit you’ll need evidence to show:
Your right to reside depends on things like your work, family and personal situation. You can check if you have a right to reside.
You can only claim Pension Credit if you have:
British citizenship and can prove you are ‘habitually resident’
pre-settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme and another right to reside
indefinite leave to remain or settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme
If none of these apply to you, you might be able to make a late application to the EU Settlement Scheme. You’ll need to have a good reason for missing the deadline of 30 June 2021. Find out more about claiming benefits if you’re from the EU.
Your client might be exempt - for example, if they were the victim of trafficking.
You’ll need to give evidence to show the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man is your main home and you plan to stay. This is known as being ‘habitually resident’.
If you’re already getting Pension Credit, you’ll keep getting it unless your circumstances change.
You can’t usually make a new claim for Pension Credit.
You can still make a new claim for Pension Credit if both of the following apply:
Otherwise you’ll usually need to claim Universal Credit instead - check if you're eligible for Universal Credit.
It’s a good idea to gather everything you can about your weekly income before applying.
Common forms of income are:
money from a private pension
money you get from the State Pension
most earnings from an employer or from being self-employed - your earnings will be worked out as an average if they go up and down over the year
benefits such as JSA or ESA
You’ll also need to consider what savings and investments you have. This could include:
property you own except the home you live in
shares and other investments
money held in bank or savings accounts
Any savings or investments over £10,000 will affect the amount of Pension Credit you get. You’ll be treated as having £1 per week of income for every £500 above £10,000.
If your weekly income is below £177.10 then Guarantee Credit will top you up to that amount.
If you’re claiming as a couple and your income is below £270.30 it will be topped up to that amount.
If you’re claiming as a couple you’ll need the same information about your partner’s income.
Your income can be higher than £177.10 or £270.30 if you qualify for extra amounts such as the severe disability or carer’s addition. Your income can also be higher if you’re paying a mortgage.
You might be able to get extra money if you get other benefits or you’re responsible for a child.
If you get other benefits, such as Carer's Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance, your weekly Guarantee Credit amount can go over the minimum income threshold of £177.10.
If you’re eligible you can receive an extra amount for severe disability of £67.30 a week. Check if you’re eligible for the severe disability addition on GOV.UK.
The extra amount if you’re a carer is £37.70. You’ll get this if you or your partner receive Carer’s Allowance or have claimed for it and meet its conditions. Check if you’re eligible for the carer’s addition on GOV.UK.
You’ll need to have details of any benefits you receive if you use the Pension Credit calculator on GOV.UK.
If you’re responsible for a child you can get an extra amount for them, as long as you’re not already getting child tax credits. You might also be able to claim child benefit.
Savings Credit is the second part of Pension Credit. It’s only available if you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016.
The amount you can get depends on whether you meet the ‘savings credit threshold.’ You must have a weekly income of at least £153.70 a week if you’re single or £244.12 a week if you’re claiming as a couple.
The income rules are different to Guarantee Credit.
Don’t count any income you get from:
working tax credits
severe disablement allowance
The most you can get from Savings Credit is £14.04 a week if you’re single or £15.71 if you’re claiming as a couple.
It’s a good idea to use the Pension Credit calculator on GOV.UK before applying. You’ll be told whether or not you’re eligible and how to apply.
Online Advice is provided by citizensadvice.org.uk; copyright © 2021 Citizens Advice