£9 MILLION OF UNCLAIMED PENSION CREDIT IN RUTHERGLEN WESTMINSTER CONSTITUENCY

For immediate release:

£9 MILLION OF UNCLAIMED PENSION CREDIT IN RUTHERGLEN WESTMINSTER CONSTITUENCY

Over 3,000 older people living in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency are thought to be missing out on vital financial support despite being entitled to it – losing out on a total of £9 million per year.

According to recent figures released by the charity Independent Age, more than a million pensioners across the UK are not in receipt of the Pension Credit they are entitled to, adding up to a staggering £3.5 billion a year.

The charity say the reasons why people don’t take up such benefits include a lack of awareness of the benefit, lack of awareness of entitlement, and the stigma of receiving a benefit.

Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit which provides additional money in retirement if the recipient is on a low income.

For the Rutherglen Westminster constituency, 3,970 households receive Pension Credit with an average weekly payment of £53.84. However, an estimated 3,142 eligible people have not applied, missing out on a total of £8,732,778.

Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey is urging local pensioners to check whether they are entitled to the payment.

Commenting, the local MSP said:

“Residents in the Rutherglen Westminster constituency are missing out on a staggering amount of financial support every year. This may be older people who are struggling to pay their bills or live independent lives, all because they are not aware of a welfare payment they are entitled to.

“People who pay into the system all their lives should be able to draw from it when they need it, so please check your eligibility for Pension Credit.”

From June 2020, only households with a pensioner aged over 75 who receives Pension Credit will be eligible for a free TV licence – after the BBC’s shock announcement to scrap the concession.

Ms Haughey recently wrote to the UK Government urging them to properly fund and protect the free licence for all aged 75 and over – and is awaiting a response.

The local MSP added:

“It is very worrying that the new concession to over-75s for free TV licences is based upon those getting Pension Credit. If people don’t claim this benefit, then simply they will not get a free TV licence.

“The UK Government must do more to make people aware of Pension Credit, as between its poor uptake and with the scrapping of the free TV licence, our elderly population will be hit hard in their pockets.”

For further advice on claiming Pension Credit, you can contact the Money Matters service on 0303 123 1008, or Rutherglen and Cambuslang Citizens Advice Bureau on 0141 646 3191.

ENDS

Notes:

Further information can be read on the below link (dated Wednesday 26th June 2019):

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jun/26/a-million-pensioners-in-poverty-because-of-unclaimed-benefits

The Independent Age report can be found on the below link:

https://independent-age-assets.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/2019-06/IA-PI-043aAnnex_v6%20FINAL%20VERSION_0.pdf

 

Date published: 27th June 2019

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