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Pension Credit: Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 284570, tabled on 2 September 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to ensure maximum uptake of pension credits in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency.

Answered on

6 September 2019

It is important to highlight that there are over 1.6 million people already claiming some £5.4 billion in Pension Credit but the Government wants to ensure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are rightly entitled. In Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk there are around 2,600 pensioners already claiming Pension Credit.

On a national basis the DWP targets activity on engaging with people who may be eligible to benefits at pivotal stages, such as when they claim State Pension or report a change in their circumstances. The DWP uses a wide range of channels to communicate information about benefits to potential customers; including information on https://gov.uk/, in leaflets and by telephone. DWP staff in Pension Centres and Jobcentres including visiting officers are able to provide help and advice about entitlement to benefits, as are staff in Local Authorities who administer Housing Benefit.

Potential customers can use the Pension Credit Calculator https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator to check if they are likely to be eligible and get an estimate of what they may receive. People wishing to claim Pension Credit can do so by calling the Freephone number 0800 99 1234.

We welcome and encourage initiatives to promote take up of Pension Credit by local organisations who may often be best placed to understand the local circumstances and needs in the community. To help facilitate this, we have developed the Pension Credit toolkit, as an on-line tool for agencies and welfare rights organisations to use in order to encourage Pension Credit take-up. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit

The toolkit contains resources for anyone working with pensioners and includes guides to Pension Credit. It also contains publicity material and guidance designed to help older people understand how they could get Pension Credit and help organisations support someone applying for Pension Credit as well as ideas for encouraging take-up. The toolkit also provides links to information about disability and carers benefits.

Most recently we have provided to relevant stakeholders a fact sheet about Pension Credit and the changes introduced on 15 May for mixed age couples to ensure that accurate information is available in the places where people are most likely to seek information.