Martin Lewis, the financial journalist and campaigner, has warned people who are of state pension age to check to see whether they could claim Pension Credit. This form of financial support is a means-tested benefit, and as well as the payment side of it, it may be that claimants unlock additional discounts which are worth thousands of pounds.
The broadcaster often shares his financial insights throughout the week, and today, Martin gave a detailed update in the form of the weekly MoneySavingExpert.com Money Tips email.
Among the array of money matters which were addressed this week was the topic of the free TV Licence for over 75s.
The BBC has already announced that it would not be covering the cost once the government funded scheme ended, however due to the coronavirus crisis, there has been a two-month delay to the new rules.
However, this is due to end within a matter of weeks.
READ MORE: DWP issues important update ushering in change for benefit claimants
It means that from August 1, 2020, people who are aged 75 will now have to pay for a TV Licence.
That said, there is an exception to this rule.
From August 1, anyone who is 75 or over who receives Pension Credit will be eligible to apply for a free TV Licence.
It’s estimated that a huge number of people may well be entitled to Pension Credit but are not claiming it.
In June last year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said there is overall a 60 percent take-up of Pension Credit, and more than one million people entitled to it but not yet claiming the benefit.
It’s possible to check whether a person is eligible for Pension Credit via the Pension Credit calculator on the government website.
As well as enabling eligible over 75s to save money on the fee for a TV Licence, in his warning, Martin has
“From August, free TV licences for over-75s will only be available to households where someone gets Pension Credit,” the Money Saving Expert said.
“But more than a million of society’s poorest families miss out on the benefit despite being eligible.”
Among the forms of extra financial help which may be available are potential discounts worth thousands on council tax, dental care, and more.
The topic is something which Martin highlighted during his ITV show The Martin Lewis Money Show last week.
During the money programme – which he co-hosts with Angellica Bell – he said: “There are 1.2 million over 65s who are eligible for Pension Credit who don’t get it.
“Look, eligibility criteria are difficult. But if you’re on a low income as a pensioner, you want to check it out.
“Just call the helpline to check. And if it’s your mum and dad or your grandparents or your neighbour, talk to them about it if they’re on a low income. It might even be your children. Talk to them about it if they’re on a low income.”
Martin added: “Not just because of the TV licence – that’s relatively trivial. Pension Credit is a cash payment and crucially it’s a gateway to other benefits.”
MSE’s latest weekly Money Tips email can be read here.