1. ITV Report

Pensioners "should check benefits"

The Mayor Boris Johnson is urging pensioners and carers to check they are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is urging pensioners and carers to check they are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to as part of this year's 'Know Your Rights' campaign.

Older Londoners and carers are being urged to call Age UK, or contact their local Citizens Advice Bureau for a benefits check.

The Age UK number is 0800 169 6565. Information posters and leaflets will appear in local papers, GP surgeries, libraries, children's centres and community centres across London. Age UK are also running several awareness-raising events across London aimed at helping older people to find out if they can claim help.

"As temperatures plummet many households face extra pressure on their budgets as their fuel bills increase. I would urge pensioners to pick up the phone and make one simple call to check they are receiving all the financial support they are entitled to."

– Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

How do you know if you're entitled to more money?

Check the Directgov Pension Credit calculator here and see below

  • If your pension is less than £142 a week or if your joint pension is less than £217 a week you could be missing out on Pension Credits.
  • A pensioner who is eligible to claim Pension Credit may also be entitled to claim additional benefits including warm home discount which entitles them to £130 a year, housing benefit and council tax benefit
  • If you are a carer who earns less than £100 per week and are caring for 35 hours a week or more for an older person who receives a qualifying benefit you too should check you are receiving what you are entitled to
  • The most recent figures for 2008/9 to 2012/11 show 20 per cent of pensioners in London are living in poverty, using the governments measure of having an income below 60 per cent of the national media for the same type of household, after housing costs are taken into account - this is 200,000 people.
  • A further nine per cent (90,000) pensioners live on the margins of poverty, between 60 per cent and 70 per cent of the median. These figures are from the DWP June 2012

For more details on Pension Credit, and to find out if you're eligible, see this link to the Directgov site