Eligibility for Pension Credit 

You must live in England, Scotland or Wales and have reached State Pension age to qualify for Pension Credit.

Find out about Pension Credit in Northern Ireland.

If you have a partner

You must include your partner on your application.

You’ll be eligible if either:

  • you and your partner have both reached State Pension age

  • one of you is getting Housing Benefit for people over State Pension age

A partner is either:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner - if you live with them

  • someone you live with as a couple, without being married or in a civil partnership

Your income

When you apply for Pension Credit your income is calculated. If you have a partner, your income is calculated together.

Pension Credit tops up:

  • your weekly income to £182.60 if you’re single

  • your joint weekly income to £278.70 if you have a partner

If your income is higher, you might still be eligible for Pension Credit if you have a disability, you care for someone, you have savings or you have housing costs.

What counts as income

Your income includes:

  • State Pension

  • other pensions

  • earnings from employment and self-employment

  • most social security benefits, for example Carer’s AllowancE

What does not count as income

Not all benefits are counted as income. For example, the following are not counted:

  • Adult Disability Payment

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Christmas Bonus

  • Child Benefit

  • Disability Living Allowance

  • Personal Independence Payment

  • social fund payments like Winter Fuel Allowance

  • Housing Benefit

  • Council Tax Reduction

If you’ve deferred your pension

If you’re entitled to a personal or workplace pension and you have not claimed it yet, the amount you’d expect to get still counts as income.

If you’ve deferred your State Pension, the amount of State Pension you would get is counted as income.

You cannot build up extra amounts for deferring your State Pension if you or your partner are getting Pension Credit.

Your savings and investments

If you have £10,000 or less in savings and investments this will not affect your Pension Credit.

If you have more than £10,000, every £500 over £10,000 counts as £1 income a week. For example, if you have £11,000 in savings, this counts as £2 income a week.

Contact the Pension Service helpline if your circumstances change.

What you'll get

Pension Credit tops up:

  • your weekly income to £182.60 if you’re single

  • your joint weekly income to £278.70 if you have a partner

You may get extra amounts if you have other responsibilities and costs.

The top up and extra amounts are known as ‘Guarantee Credit’.

Find out how much you could get

Use the Pension Credit calculator to work out how much you might get.

Contact the Pension Service helpline if you’re not sure whether you’re eligible for extra amounts.

Pension Service helpline
Telephone: 0800 731 0469
Textphone: 0800 169 0133
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0469
British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service if you’re on a computer - find out how to use the service on mobile or tablet
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

How you’re paid

All benefits, pensions and allowances are usually paid into an account, for example a bank account.

You can start your application up to 4 months before you reach State Pension age.

You can apply any time after you reach State Pension age but your application can only be backdated by 3 months. This means you can get up to 3 months of Pension Credit in your first payment if you were eligible during that time.

Information you’ll need

You’ll need the following information about you and your partner if you have one:

  • National Insurance number

  • information about any income, savings and investments you have

  • information about your income, savings and investments on the date you want to backdate your application to (usually 3 months ago or the date you reached State Pension age)

You’ll also need your bank account details. Depending on how you apply, you may also be asked for your bank or building society name, sort code and account number.

Apply online

You can use the online service if you have already applied for your State Pension.

Apply now