Jim Shannon – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Jim Shannon on 2016-09-06.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support his Department is providing to pensioners who depend on charities and families to pay household bills.

Richard Harrington

This Government is committed to providing a secure and dignified retirement for those pensioners who would otherwise find themselves without an adequate income.

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit paid out of general taxation which targets help at the poorest pensioners. Pension Credit tops up a person’s other income to a standard minimum amount – currently £155.60 for a single person and £237.55 for a couple. Higher amounts may be available for those with a severe disability, caring responsibilities or certain housing costs. The amount of Pension Credit a person receives depends on how much money they have coming in each week and how much they have saved or invested; regular payments from a charity or relative will generally not count towards this calculation.

People in receipt of Pension Credit may also qualify for other benefits (each with their own conditions of entitlement) such as Cold Weather Payments, Funeral Payments from the Social Fund and the Warm Home Discount Scheme. Other benefits such as Housing Benefit and help from the Local Council Tax Reduction scheme are available to Pension Credit recipients and to others who may qualify on the grounds of low income.

Pension Credit recipients are also exempt from certain health charges. Other benefits including Winter Fuel Payments, free prescriptions and concessionary travel are available on the grounds of age.