Low uptake of Pension credit could mean 1191 older people in Stockton North are missing out on £167,000 worth of Warm Home Discount funding, says Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham as he backs calls from the charity, Independent Age, for the government to create a Pension Credit uptake action plan.
Analysis from Independent Age shows that more than £88.2 million was missed out on last year. Pension Credit has the lowest uptake of eligible recipients out of any social security scheme yet is a useful “gateway benefit” that can help people access a wide range of welfare such as free prescriptions and TV licences for over 75 year olds.
With temperatures below zero in recent days, the Warm Home Discount – a one-off payment of £140 – could provide a lifeline for older people worried about the costs of their energy bills.
“These new statistics from Independent Age show that – during this bitterly cold pandemic winter – it is more important than ever that the government works to get Pension Credit to the people that are missing out.
“This vital entitlement can make a huge difference helping people afford essential supplies and services, like heating their homes or buying healthy food, as we all continue to stay at home to help beat COVID-19.
“I am supporting Independent Age’s campaign to call on the government to commit to ensure those entitled to Pension Credit receive it by creating a comprehensive action plan on uptake.”