On this page we explain what Pension Credit is, how you may qualify for it and how much it is worth
Am I entitled to Pension Credit if I am blind or partially sighted?
Pension Credit is a benefit for anyone who has reached the qualifying age and has a relatively low income. You may get it even if you have some savings and modest retirement income. It can be paid on top of your state retirement pension. If you have built up a pot of money through a defined contribution pension, how and when you choose to draw money out of it will affect the amount of Pension Credit you can receive. You can read the DWP's guidance on pension flexibilities to learn more.
Pension Credit is made up of two parts, each of which have a different qualifying age:
- Guarantee Credit has a qualifying age which is rising with the minimum State Pension age for women. Our factsheet explains more about this.
- Savings Credit is for people aged 65 or over.
You could qualify for both parts and may even receive an additional amount because of your sight loss.
This is the part of Pension Credit that guarantees you a minimum level of income. Should you qualify, the standard minimum you are guaranteed is:
- £151.20 if you are single
- £230.85 if you have a partner.
To qualify, you must be at the qualifying age and your weekly income (including income from savings) must usually be less than the above amounts.
You may still be able to qualify for Pension Credit if your weekly income is over the above amounts. This may be possible if you qualify for an additional amount for severe disability or for being a carer; or if you have eligible housing costs such as mortgage interest. The additional amounts often apply to blind and partially sighted people.
If you are entitled to Guarantee Credit, you will also qualify for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support regardless of the level of your savings. If you receive savings credit only, you will have to make a separate application for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.
Your claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support can be backdated for up to three months, as long as you qualified during that period.
The Savings Credit is for people aged 65 or over who have modest savings and capital or retirement income. It does not matter if you have a partner who is under 60. This credit provides extra money each week of up to:
- £14.82 if you are single
- £17.43 if you have a partner.
To be able to get the savings Pension Credit you must have qualifying income above the 'savings credit threshold' of:
- £126.50 if you are single
- £201.80 if you are a couple.
Additional amounts for severe disability and for carers
You may also be entitled to an extra amount for severe disability:
- £61.85 a week if you are single or for a couple when only one person qualifies
- £123.70 a week for a couple if you both qualify.
Our factsheet outlines the qualifying conditions for this.
You and your partner can also get an extra amount for being a carer. You can get this Carer's Premium either because you get Carer's Allowance or because you could get it but aren't paid it because of your state pension. The Carer's Premium is worth £34.60 a week.
How do I apply for Pension Credit?
Call The Pension Service on 0800 99 1234 between 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday. If you have speech or hearing difficulties, the textphone number is 0800 169 0133.
You can also apply for help with your rent and council tax at the same time as applying for Pension Credit. All you have to do is complete a three-page claim form, HCTB1 (PCA).
Pension Service staff can fill in an application form for you over the phone if you wish. They will then post the completed form to you so that you can check it and sign it.
You will need to provide:
- your National Insurance number
- information about your income
- details of your savings and investments (but only savings over £10,000 will affect the calculation for your Pension Credit).
Pension Credit can be backdated for up to three months as long as you qualified during that period.
Getting help with Pension Credit
The calculation for Pension Credit, especially the savings credit, is complicated. We have written a factsheet that you can download that explains more about what counts as income or savings for the calculation:
You can also call our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 to speak to one of our benefits advisors about whether or not you are entitled to Pension Credit and how much you could receive.
Please note that we can only give advice about benefits for people with sight loss and their carers or dependants.
Use our benefits calculator to check which benefits you are entitled to. Our calculator will ask you some questions about your circumstances and then tell you how exactly much you could be missing out on.Use the benefits calculator