From the 1 August 2020, pensioners over the age of 75 will be charged for the yearly cost of a T.V Licence of £157.50. From August, T.V. Licensing will be writing to people over 75 who currently who have a free T.V. Licence.
However, pensioners who are on a low income who are eligible for Pension Credit will be exempt from the new scheme.
What is Pension Credit?
Pension Credit is a tax free benefit helping pensioners who are deemed to be on a low income. The benefit is means tested and aimed at people who are at State Pension age, 65 for men and 66 for women. The benefit is a top up for single people (including widowers and widows) and couples. Pension Credit is divided under two headings Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
To qualify for Guarantee Credit, single pensioners who have an income less than £173.75 or couples on a joint income of less than £262.20 a week can make a claim for the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.
To be eligible for Savings Credit, pensioners will had to have reached State Pension age before the 6 April 2016. The amount pensioner(s) would get is dependent on the level of savings and income received.
Single pensioners could benefit (up to) an additional £13.97 a week; couples £15.62 a week.
It is important to note that Pension Credit is also referred to as a Gateway benefit, meaning people can often qualify for further benefits that can help them financially.
Gateway Benefits include:
- Council Tax Reduction: Residents can have their Council Tax bills reduced significantly dependant on the individual's local council policy.
- Warm Homes Discount Scheme: Residents can make an application to this scheme for a £140.00 discount/reduction to their heating bills. This is dependent on the energy provider. To apply for this, the contact telephone number is 0800 731 0214. The scheme opens from the 12 October 2020.
- Housing Benefit: When making a claim for Pension Credit, people should be asked if they want to make a claim for Housing Benefit. If this does not happen, please contact Hightown Housing Association on 01442 242 300 and ask to speak to a Financial Inclusion Officer for help in making a claim.
- Cold Weather Payments: This is payable to pensioners when the temperature drops to 0 or below for a period of 7 days, between 1 November to the 31 March.
- Free Dental treatment and vouchers for glasses and contact lenses: Application forms will need to be completed for this.
How do I claim Pension Credit?
Claims for Pension Credit can be now be made online on www.gov.uk/pension-credit or via the claim line number 0800 99 1234.
If you have any further queries or would like to speak to a staff member to make an application for Pension Credit, please call 01442 292 300 and ask to speak to either Donna Bradshaw or John Paul Smith.