Deadline for 850,000 people to claim £301 free cash this week – check if you can get the payment


HUNDREDS of thousands of people have just days left to check if they can claim £301 free cash.

Retirees must check if they’re eligible for pension credit now as it could mean you’re able to get the first cost of living payment.

Retirees have until May 19 to see if they can get pension credit and then the cost of living payment

Applicants have until May 19 to put in their claim for pension credit.

If it’s any time after, you’ll miss out on the £301 payment.

Around 1.4million pensioners receive pension credit, but 850,000 who could be eligible are not claiming this extra financial help.

If you don’t yet receive pension credit you can check your eligibility using an online pension credit calculator.

You’ll also get an estimate on how much you may receive.

Millions of people have already received the first part of the cost of living payment.

The £900 is being paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help soften the blow of high energy bills, food and other costs.

It’s part of £1,350 support scheme from the government which Jeremy Hunt unveiled in his Autumn Budget.

Here’s everything you need to know about the payment and pension credit.

Who is eligible for pension credit?

It is available for people who are over the state pension age, and who live in England, Scotland or Wales.

This is currently rising to 66 for both men and women.

It used to be the case that couples, where one person was over state pension age, could claim, but new rules now mean that both people in a couple must be over retirement age to apply.

This means if you’re single and move in with a partner who is younger than the state pension age, you will stop being eligible.

But if you’re already receiving pension credit under the old system it won’t stop unless your circumstances change.

To qualify, you’ll need to have a weekly income of less than £201.05 for single people or £306.85 for couples.

Your income is worked out taking into account various elements including:

  • Your state pension
  • Any other pensions you have saved, for instance, workplace or private pension savings
  • Most social security benefits, for example, carer’s allowance
  • Any savings or investments worth over £10,000
  • Earnings from a job

The calculation does not include:

  • Attendance allowance
  • Christmas bonus
  • Disability living allowance
  • Personal independence payment
  • Housing benefit
  • Council tax reduction

If your income is too high to get pension credit, you may still get some savings pension credit, so it’s worth checking.

How much can you get in pension credit?

There are two parts to the benefit and pensioners can be eligible for one or both parts – here are the current rates for the tax year:

  • Guarantee credit – tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level. This is £201.05 a week if you’re single and £306.85 a week for married couples.
  • Savings credit – provides extra money if you’ve saved money towards retirement. You can get an extra £15.94 a week for a single person or £17.84 a week for a married couple.

You may also get additional pension credit if you are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have to pay certain housing costs such as mortgage interest payments.

For instance, you can get either £61.88 a week or £72.31 per week for each child or young person you’re responsible for.

If you are disabled or care for someone who is disabled, you may get more.

For example, if you have a severe disability you could get an extra £76.40 a week or if you care for another adult you could get an extra £42.75 a week.

How do I apply?

You can start your application up to four months before you reach state pension age.

Applications for pension credit can be made on the government website or by ringing the pension credit claim line on 0800 99 1234.

You can get a friend or family member to ring for you, but you’ll need to be with them when they do.

You’ll need the following information about you and your partner if you have one:

  • National Insurance number
  • Information about any income, savings and investments you have
  • Information about your income, savings and investments on the date you want to backdate your application to (usually 3 months ago or the date you reached state pension age)

If you claim after you reach pension age, you can backdate your claim for up to three months.

How will I be paid?

Your benefits are usually paid into an account, for instance, a bank account.

They’re usually paid every four weeks.

You’ll be asked for your bank, building society or credit union account details when you claim.

But if you have problems opening or managing an account, you might be able to claim a different way.

What is the £900 cost of living payment?

The £900 cost of living payment is a support payment being made to households in the UK that are struggling the most.

he payment is tax-free and will not impact any existing benefit payments you receive.

More than eight million people in total will receive the payment.

How and when will the £900 be paid?

Unlike last year’s help, this cost of living payment will be paid in three, not two, instalments.

There’s no need to apply for the help – instead, the DWP will be in touch.

The first payment, which will be £301, will be paid directly into bank accounts between April 25 and May 17.

Millions have already been paid though a small number are still waiting.

For those receiving the £301 payment from the DWP, it will show in your bank account as “DWP COLP” along with your National Insurance (NI) number.

For example, if your NI number is JT 83 42 97B your payment will show up as “DWP COLP JT 83 42 97B” on your statement.

The £301 payment is the first out of three that will be made – the remaining two, worth £300 and £299 will be made this autumn and in spring 2024 respectively.

Am I eligible for the £900 payment?

The full list of benefits that qualify people for the payment is:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension credit

If you were receiving any of the above benefits between January 26 and February 25 this year you will receive the £301 payment.

If you were later found to be entitled to any of the above benefits between January 26 and February 25 you will be eligible for the payment too.

The DWP said those on tax credits only will receive their payment from HMRC after the DWP payments begin.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]