CALLS FOR TAKE UP OF PENSION CREDITS AS £8.2 MILLION GOES UNCLAIMED
Local MP, Marion Fellows, is calling on pensioners to check they are eligible and apply for Pension Credits as recent figures show £8,153,000 is going unclaimed in the Motherwell and Wishaw constituency alone.
Pension Credits are available to pensioners to help them pay for essential items, utilities and social activities. Single people could access up to £167.25 per week with couples potentially accessing up to £255.25 per week.
Figures from Independent Age show that 120,000 pensioners are not claiming their Pension Credit entitlement across Scotland, amounting to £324 million. There is expected to be 1,300,000 people not claiming across the UK who are missing out on £3.5 billion.
The UK Government has failed to increase Pension Credit uptake beyond 63% over ten years. Now, Mrs Fellows is backing Independent Age’s calls for the UK Government to increase uptake to at least 95% by 2022 and 100% by 2025.
Pension Credits can be backdated to 14 May if applied for before 13 August.
Commenting, Mrs Fellows, the SNP’s Pensioners’ Champion, said:
“Pension Credits can ensure the independence and dignity of people in their old age. While people face greater and greater financial strain, it’s important people maximise their income.
“An additional £8.2 million in local peoples’ pockets can ensure financial security and the welfare of the most vulnerable in our communities. Not to mention help tackle loneliness in older people.
“The UK Government recoups every penny that goes unclaimed. The Tories seem to be making no real effort to maximise uptake. They have cut and cut. We must ensure our communities take advantage of what’s available.
“People can claim by calling 0800 99 1234. I’d urge anyone who knows someone eligible to claim Pension Credits – your parents or grandparents – to speak to them to make sure they are.”