Pension credit gives you more money to help with living costs if you’re over the age of 66 and on a low income.
As well as a cash top up to the state pension, it also acts as a passport to other benefits such as help with housing costs, council tax reduction schemes, heating bills and a free over-75s TV licence.
In Eastbourne, nearly 3,000 residents do claim the credit - worth more than £3,300 on average – which means an estimated £9 million in additional support is coming in across the town. However, it is thought around 25 per cent of people who could claim the extra help do not currently do so, which means there are potentially hundreds in the constituency who could be eligible for extra help.
MP Caroline Ansell is urging people to check if they’re eligible for the credit.
She said, “Eastbourne has a higher number of residents in this age bracket than many areas so it could be well more than a thousand going without this support. It is vitally important that everyone gets the benefits they are entitled to especially at a time of rising costs.
“I would be very unhappy even if one older person was missing out on this support so the idea that it might be this many means we need to spotlight pension credit support and ensure it is going to everyone as a matter of urgency.
“It is important that older people know about it but also their family and carers if we are to improve the take up.
“It is an issue I come across quite often. Many people are eligible for government support like this but they are unaware of it or they wrongly think they can’t access it.
“I would urge everyone to look into whether they are entitled to this help.”
Pension credit can be claimed online, by telephone or by post. Information is available at www.gov.uk/pension-credit or by calling the Freephone Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.