I am aged 77 and have been told I will have to start paying for a television licence as new rules which came into effect on 1 August 2020 mean free television licences are limited to over 75s receiving Pension Credit.
I receive a small state pension, live alone and find paying all my bills a struggle. The television is a lifeline to me, and I do not know how I will pay for a licence. Am I eligible to claim Pension Credit?
It is always a good idea to check. Pension Credit is an income-related benefit aimed at people over state pension age offering a top-up to their income.
There are two types of Pension Credit: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. To be eligible for Guarantee Pension Credit, you must have reached state pension age (currently rising from 65 to 66 for men and women). Since 15 May 2019, most couples will only be able to start claiming if both partners have reached state pension age. If you receive income less than £173.75 a week for a single person or £265.20 for a couple, you may be eligible to claim Guarantee Pension Credit. This amount could be higher if you’re disabled, a carer or have certain housing costs. On top of that you may also get help with rent, a reduction in your council tax, a warm home discount worth £140 a year, help with the cost of glasses and contact lenses, help with travel costs to and from the hospital, and if you are aged 75 or over a free television licence worth £157.50.
You can only get Savings Credit if you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, or you have a partner who reached State Pension age before this date and was already receiving it.
With this type of help available, it’s more important than ever to check you’re not missing out on Pension Credit. Lots of people could be missing out on Pension Credit because they wrongly think it isn’t meant for them. It only takes a few minutes to check to see if you qualify. Citizens Advice will be able to help you do a check and help you claim. It’s a good idea to gather details of earnings, benefits, pensions and savings and investments before you contact them so that you have the information to hand.
If you would like a pension credit check or need help or information about another issue, you can telephone Sudbury & District Citizens Advice on 01787 321400 (answerphone) leave a message and someone will call you back. We will attempt three times to call you back, so please expect a call from a withheld number.
Alternatively, telephone Suffolk Adviceline on 0300 330 1151 from Monday to Thursday between 10am and 3pm or the national Adviceline on 03444 111 444 from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.
You can also contact us via email at email@example.com or have a look at our website www.sudburycab.org.uk for further information.
*Please note we are no longer seeing clients face to face until further notice*
Contact Elaine Gorman
Sudbury & District Citizens Advice