We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Pension Credit and Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 17th July 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Clive Lewis Clive Lewis Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to improve accessibility to pension credit and universal credit for pensioners.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Pension Credit is an important benefit specifically intended to help the poorest pensioners. There are over 1.6m pensioners already claiming Pension Credit worth over £5billion a year. However, the Government wants to ensure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are rightly entitled.

We also welcome and encourage initiatives to promote take up of Pension Credit by national and local organisations who may often be best placed to understand the local circumstances and needs in the community. For this reason 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.

Organisations can use the Pension Credit calculator https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator to help people check if they are likely to be eligible and get an estimate of what they may receive.

In addition, 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 claimants; including information on https://gov.uk/ but also 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.

People can telephone either the Pension Service helpline for general enquiries on 0800 731 0469 or those wishing to claim Pension Credit can do so by calling 0800 99 1234.

Universal Credit is designed to target resources at those that need them most and to provide support for people who cannot work or need help moving towards the labour market.

For those that are unable to access or use digital services, assistance to make and maintain their claim is available via the Freephone Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644 and face-to-face support is available in Jobcentres. In exceptional circumstances, a home visit can be arranged to support a claimant in making and maintaining their claim.

Additionally, claimants can access support with their Universal Credit application through the Citizen’s Advice Help to Claim service which, offers tailored, practical support online, over the phone, and face-to-face. You can contact an adviser through the free national Help to Claim phone service:

England: 0800 144 8 444

Wales: 08000 241 220

Scotland: 0800 023 2581

We are continuously reviewing and improving the service for people who claim Universal Credit to ensure that it is accessible and responsive to their needs. This includes how they are identified and supported, either from our own staff or via referrals from local services.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.