Greater Manchester Pension Top Up campaign 2022
People in Greater Manchester are being urged to check if they are eligible for pension top up payments after figures revealed approximately 36,000 qualifying households are missing out on around £70m in unclaimed Pension Credit.
Greater Manchester Housing Providers, a partnership of 24 social housing providers, and Greater Manchester Combined Authority, through its Ageing Hub, have launched an awareness raising campaign to encourage older people to take up pension age benefits. The Pension Top Up campaign is being is being rolled out across the city region and is supported by Independent Age, Age UK, and Citizens Advice.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “With so much pressure on household finances, it’s vital that older people are getting all the money they are entitled to. A third of those eligible for pension credit in Greater Manchester aren’t claiming, with many missing out on income from attendance allowance and housing benefit too. If you own your own home or have a private pension you could still be eligible, so please take a moment now and check – for yourself or your loved ones. It’s going to be another tough winter, and getting this top-up could make all the difference.”
The main reason older people don’t claim is that they don’t think they are eligible. When it comes to finance and benefits, older people are most likely to respond to one-to-one prompting from family and friends or from trusted local contacts. The campaign encourages everyone to ask their older family, friends and customers, ‘have you topped up?’.
Jean, aged 86, from Gorton said: “Pension Credit has helped me with lots of the costs including food, clothing and bedding. My son helped me fill the forms out – I wouldn’t be able to do it without his help.”
Pension credit is designed to bring the weekly income of pensioners up to a minimum amount and could make those eligible £34 a week better off on average. In addition to the extra weekly cash, Pension Credit also unlocks other financial benefits including a free TV licence for over 75s, council tax support, and money towards green home insulation.
Karen Mitchell, Greater Manchester Housing Providers’ Ageing Well Lead and Chief Executive of Southway Housing Trust, said: “For many people that bit of extra income can make a crucial difference between struggling to pay the bills and living more comfortably”.
To check if you or someone you are close to is getting all the entitlements they are due, contact your local social housing provider or Independent Age freephone helpline 0800 319 6789 or go to the website