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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

OAPs missing out on pension credit

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Only 61% of people entitled to pension credit claimed it last year.

Age Scotland is urging older people to claim pension credit, following new figures showing that an estimated 104,000 Scots entitled to the benefit are not receiving it.

The Department of Work and Pensions revealed that only 61% of people entitled to pension credit claimed it last year.

This represents a 1% fall from the previous year and 63 per cent in 2013/14.

An estimated £238 million worth of pension credit was unclaimed in Scotland last year, up from £233m last year.

Additionally, people aged over 65 did not claim £80m worth of housing benefit they were entitled to.

Keith Robson, Age Scotland’s chief executive, said: “We’re very concerned to see that pension credit take-up has fallen, despite more than 158,000 Scottish pensioners living in poverty.

“One in five older Scots is struggling to make ends meet, while a staggering £318m is unclaimed each year.

“We hear from hundreds of older people each year who are unaware that help is available. Just this week our helpline assisted a retired couple in claiming £8,000 worth of pension credit. This will make a huge difference to their quality of life.

“Sadly too many pensioners spend their retirement struggling to get by and worrying about how they will heat their house or pay their bills. Many of them are reluctant to ask for help and there can still be a perceived stigma attached to claiming benefits.

“Every older person should be able to afford a decent standard of living in retirement. We will be urging the Scottish and UK governments to take action to increase take-up and ensure the worst off pensioners get the help they need.

“We would encourage anyone who is worried about money to call our free helpline on 0800 12 44 222 for advice and support.”