Many pensioners in Doncaster who are eligible are still not claiming Pension Credit or Pension Savings Credit. That means some pensioner households could be missing out.
Overwhelmingly the most common reason pensioners have given for not applying for Pension Credit was perceived ineligibility. However, the DWP has now made this easier to claim. By calling just one number 0845 731 32 33 you can access Pension Credit, State Pension, housing benefit, and Council Tax benefit. In November 2008, the benefit process will be simplified further as claims for Housing Benefit and Council Tax benefit will no longer require a signed claim form.
Even if you think you are not eligible it is still worth checking. Although some pensioners may only be eligible for a few extra pounds a week, claiming them opens up entitlement to additional help and support.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit - If you are 60 or over you could be entitled to the guaranteed pension credit element which means you are entitled to Housing and Council Tax Benefit.
The exact amount of benefit you receive is decided by the Council but the Housing Benefit may cover all of your eligible rent which includes rent for the accommodation and charges for some services, such as lifts, communal laundry facilities or play areas. It does not include charges for heating, lighting, meals and water costs and some service charges. The maximum help you can get with your council tax is 100% of your council tax bill minus any non-dependant deductions that apply.
Call the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234.
Warm Front – If you own your own home or rent from a private landlord and are in receipt of Pension Credit you could be eligible for a grant of up to £3,500 or £6,000 (if oil central heating has been recommended). The grant provides a package of insulation, heating improvements and energy advice tailored to each property. In addition, Doncaster Council is offering an extra £500 to those who are still unable to pay.
Call Warm Front free on 0800 316 6011 or Doncaster Council’s Energy Team on 0800 028 1067.
Winter Fuel Allowances – Allowances have been increased this year to £400 for over 80s households and £250 for over 60s households and are available if you're aged 60 or over during 21 to 27 September 2009 and you normally live in the United Kingdom.
Call the Winter Fuel Payment helpline 08459 151 515.
Free Loft and Cavity Wall Insulation - If you are over 70, or the state pension is your main source of income, you are eligible for FREE loft and cavity wall insulation. If you are not eligible for free insulation, then grants from around 50% rising to 70% are available for loft and cavity wall insulation.
If you are in receipt of benefits and have a boiler that is over 20 years old Doncaster Council may replace it with a new energy-efficient boiler for free.
Call the Energy Saving Trust’s Act on CO2 help line on 0800 512 012.