Northumberland County Council is encouraging residents of retirement age to check their eligibility for Pension Credit before big changes come into place on May 15.
Pension Credit is an income-related benefit that ensures claimants are receiving the minimum amount of pension they should be – but national data shows in 2016/17, up to 1.3million families who were entitled to receive it did not claim the benefit.
Currently, once one member of a couple reaches the state pension age, that couple can claim Pension Credit.
Government changes that come into effect from May 15 will mean both members of a couple will need to have reached this age to be able to claim the benefit.
This means ‘mixed age’ couples could potentially lose out on around £7,000 per year.
These types of couple already receiving Pension Credit will be unaffected by the change, therefore any couples who are entitled to the benefit, but are not yet claiming, need to make their claim before May 15.
Coun Veronica Jones, cabinet member for adult wellbeing and health, said: “I would encourage anyone who thinks they might be eligible to get in touch with the council to double check.”
In order to be eligible for this benefit, a single person must receive less than £163 per week, or £248.80 per week for couples. For more details, go to your local customer information centre.