November 28, 2019

Written by TeamSP

Universal credit and pensions: could you be missing out?

Tips for PIP! (Personal Independence Payments)

Many of you tell us about the stress of completing PIP applications, attending assessment or reassessment, and problems with the appeals process.  For useful advice and information on avoiding the main pitfalls, check out the links below:


Universal Credit

Most, if not all benefit applications now have to be done online, but not everyone is comfortable or feels confident in using the internet.  If you, or anyone you know, would like face to face or over the phone support, contact the Citizens Advice Bureau’s ‘Help to Claim’ service, by phoning freephone 0800 144 8 444 (England), 08000 241 220 (Wales) and 0800 023 2581 (Scotland).


Could you be missing out?! – Pension Credit

If you receive a State Pension and are on a low income (below £167.25 per week (£255.25 for a couple), did you know you may be able to receive more money, by applying for Pension Credit (PC)?

The Guarantee Credit part of PC is designed to top up weekly income and claims can be backdated for 3 months. Pension Credit is part of the State Pension system, and although four million older people are entitled to receive it, Independent Age found that around a third of those eligible are not claiming.


You don’t need to :

  • have paid any National Insurance contributions
  • Savings under £10,000 are ignored,
  • It’s tax-free,
  • You can apply even if you still work


How to claim:

It’s easy – call freephone 0800 99 1234, and staff will fill out the application form with you over the phone.


What you’ll need when you call:

  • your National Insurance Number
  • information about your income, savings and investments
  • your bank account details


Is it worth applying just for a few pounds?

Definitely!  Even if your income is just under the set amount, do apply, as there are additional benefits.  For instance, free sight tests and vouchers towards spectacles or contact lenses, cold weather payment, plus help with NHS and dental costs and travel costs to hospital for NHS treatment.

Qualifying for PC might also mean you get more housing and/or council tax benefit.


When to apply?

If you already receive a pension, and you think you qualify, don’t delay! Claims are only backdated 3 months.  If you have not yet reached retirement age, you can claim from 4 months beforehand.


Assistance from the Fund


You’re doing well as a music creator; the work, although slow, has been steady on and off for a while.  Then… unexpectedly, you fall ill, or find you have to take time out for different reasons.

You have numerous hospital appointments, are exhausted and find you have to cancel any work you do have.

Slowly, the money dries up.  Your anxiety levels rocket as fast as your income plummets.  You can’t sleep, you’re no longer finding it easy to talk with colleagues, friends or family.

Your credit card – if you have one – is maxed out, and you’re overdrawn at the bank.  It’s becoming increasingly difficult to meet the bills or your rent.  You’re worried that if the situation continues, you might be evicted.  The circumstances are having a detrimental effect on both your physical and mental well-being.

You have little idea of what to do or where to turn.

If the above scenario, or something similar resonates with your own situation, this is where the Fund comes in and may be able to assist.

All you need do is to contact us in confidence on 020 3741 4067 email at [email protected], or download our application form here. PRS-Application-form-2019


Get in touch! We’re here for you.

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