Pensions - Articles - Pensioners lose out on Pension Credit from inaccurate forms

Analysis of yesterday’s DWP report on unfulfilled eligibility in the benefit system uncovered how much extra money benefit claimants could be getting if they had submitted accurate information to the DWP about their circumstances.

 The unfulfilled eligibility rate is the proportion of benefit claims, out of the total welfare funding allocated to a specific benefit, that are un-finished or unable to be processed due to missing evidence that is required to validate their claim.

 Across all welfare benefits, the total unfulfilled eligibility rate in FYE 2024* was 1.2% (£3.1bn), compared with 1.0% (£2.3bn) in FYE 2023. This represents an increase of £0.8 billion going unclaimed due to inaccurate applications.

 For Pension Credit, the unfulfilled eligibility rate in FYE 2024 was 1.5% (£80m), compared with 1.1% (£50m) in FYE 2023, with the proportion of claims with unfulfilled eligibility increasing from 5 in 100 claims in FYE 2023 to 8 in 100 claims in FYE 2024.

 Claimants failing to inform the DWP about reductions in financial assets (Capital) was the largest source of Pension Credit unfulfilled eligibility in FYE 2024. The rate was at 0.4%, compared with 0.2% in FYE 2023.

 Stephen Lowe, Group Communications director at Just Group, said: “Benefits like Pension Credit are a valuable financial resource for retirees on low-incomes or for those who are disabled, are carers, or have dependents.

 “This has been brought into sharper focus by the cost-of-living crisis in recent years as low-income pensioners have been grappling with steep rises in inflation. This has resulted in price increases of care costs, food and fuel, eating up more and more of their State Pension income. So, to see that eligible pensioners missed out on £80 million of extra income in FYE 2024 due to submitting inaccurate information is deeply frustrating for everyone.

 “The money is there to support the people who need it most, and although the application process can be lengthy, we strongly encourage people to persevere. There are many free resources online that provide guidance and advice on what benefits are available and how to claim them.”

 *FYE 2024 refers to the period ending 31 March 2024.

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