Pension credit claims up 275% during DWP awareness campaign

Pension credit claims more than doubled during the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) recent Pension Credit Day of Action, with over 10,000 claims made during the week of 13 June, marking a 275 per cent year-on-year increase.

The DWP’s campaign included a social media video with Strictly Come Dancing’s Len Goodman, which has now been viewed over 1.3 million times, and looked to encourage greater take-up and address common myths that may stop people applying for pension credit.

The boost in claims will mean that more pensioners could be in line to receive extra financial support worth an average of over £3,300 a year.

Commenting on the results, Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, stated: “We recognise the challenges some pensioners will be facing with the cost of living which is why promoting pension credit is a priority.

“The success of our day of action means more pensioners can get the support they’re entitled to, but we’re not stopping there.

"We’re continuing to get the word out about pension credit, calling on everyone with retired family, friends and loved ones to check in with them and see if they can get this extra financial support, which can make a huge difference to people’s lives.”

Indeed, Opperman recently confirmed that work to raise awareness of pension credit will continue in a recent Work and Pensions Committee (WPC) evidence hearing, where he emphasised that the day of action initiative is "not a one-day wonder".

"For example, it is quite clear that there are certain cohorts in society— Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) is a good example - who do not necessarily claim pension credit. We are going to continue to engage and reach out on that process and try to enhance that," he stated.

He also confirmed that DWP has had a "strategy of a variety of different interventions for a considerable time", explaining that the DWP is now looking to maintain the momentum and interest achieved via the action day.

Opperman stated: "I have met with BBC and ITV, all the energy companies, and local authorities. These organisations are doing a huge amount and DWP now sends out about 11 million state pension uprating letters, which we did not do before.

"We are doing a whole host of things and all of it is to try to get people to apply. Do not be shy, please apply, is the case."

Industry experts and MPs have previously raised concerns over the low take-up of pension credit, after figures from the DWP revealed that whilst over 1.4 million pensioners in Britain receive pension credit, around £1.7bn is still being left unclaimed.

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