Pensioners across the country are being urged to act in the next ten days to avoid missing out on payments worth £3,500 a year.

The deadline to apply for Pension Credit is on December 18.

Claims can be made online and over the phone, with the Pension Credit calculator on hand to find out if you could be eligible.

Pensioners who claim Pension Credit before the deadline could also be eligible to receive a £324 cost of living cash boost thanks to backdating rules.

This is because successful Pension Credit claims can be backdated for up to 3 months – as long as the applicant was also eligible to receive it during that time.

Barry And District News: Minister for Pensions Laura TrottMinister for Pensions Laura Trott (Image: PA)

The average Pension Credit award is worth over £3,500 a year and even a small Pension Credit award can provide access to a wide range of other benefits – such as help with housing costs, council tax or heating bills – in addition to the extra cost of living payments.

Minister for Pensions Laura Trott said: “The run up to Christmas is always a busy time, but one thing to make sure that’s on your list over the coming days is to find out whether you or your loved ones could be eligible for Pension Credit.

“Pension Credit can make a real difference and I am determined to make sure this support – worth an average of £3,500 per year – is reaching everyone who needs it.”

What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is designed to help people over State Pension age and on a low income with daily living costs, though you do not need to be in receipt of State Pension to receive it.

It tops up a person’s income to a minimum of £182.60 per week for single pensioners and to £278.70 for couples.

To ensure that a successful backdated claim falls within the qualifying period for the extra £324 cost of living help, eligible pensioners are being urged to claim Pension Credit as soon as possible, and by no later than 18 December 2022.

Currently, around 1.4 million pensioners in Britain receive Pension Credit. However, many are still not claiming this extra financial help.