Nearly 60,000 people are forced to wait months for much-needed pension credit due to a giant backlog
Nearly 60,000 retirees are being forced to wait months to receive much-needed pension credit, according to a Freedom of Information request.
Widespread government delays mean seniors struggling to make ends meet as costs rise find themselves without monthly supplements.
The number of claims has reached record highs after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) launched a campaign calling on pensioners to apply for pension credit.
Claims: Widespread government delays mean struggling seniors struggle to make ends meet as costs rise without monthly supplements
However, he has been criticized for being unprepared and unable to cope with the resulting increase in demands.
The pension credit is an additional sum of money for pensioners who are entitled to it, in order to bring the weekly income to a minimum amount.
Between April and August, 111,550 pension credit applications were accepted, according to DWP data. But only 33% of them were paid, reveal figures obtained by stockbroker AJ Bell.
Meanwhile, 58,500 claims made during this period are stuck in a backlog.
AJ Bell’s Tom Selby says the huge delays risk undermining efforts to boost use of this valuable perk.
“It is vital that the DWP gets its house in order and deals with these outstanding claims as soon as possible,” he says.
Around one in ten of the 850,000 eligible pensioners are claiming the benefit, with most missing out on a £1.7billion share.
Cost-of-living support payments made by the government this winter are another incentive to claim a pension credit.
A successful application made before December 18 could qualify someone for a cost of living payment of £324.
This is because pension credit claims can be backdated up to three months, provided the eligibility requirements are met during that time.
Pension Credit tops up weekly income to a minimum of £182.60 for singles and £278.70 for couples.
Those caring for a parent can get an extra £38.85 per week, and disabled pensioners can claim an extra £69.40.
You are entitled to the allowance if you and your partner have reached the legal retirement age (currently 66) and one of you receives housing allowance.
Your retirement savings will count towards your eligibility. For savings over £10,000, every £500 over that counts as £1 per week income.
A DWP spokesperson said: “Additional resources are being deployed to ensure we process the increase as quickly as possible, while successful claims and arrears will be paid accordingly to ensure those who qualify do not miss out. not.”