As we face a cost-of-living crisis that will affect thousands of older people across Greater Manchester, there is an opportunity to put more money into people’s pockets. We can do that by encouraging and helping residents to access the millions of pounds that go unclaimed in benefits for older people.
Using UK level estimates, our research team found that:
- There are around 36,000 eligible households not claiming Pension Credit in Greater Manchester - that’s a third of those who are eligible
- The average value to households is estimated at £34 per week
- This equates to £70m per year across the city region
- This is all extra income that could be put back into older people’s pockets and potentially spent within our local economy
That’s why the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub and the Greater Manchester Housing Providers (GMHP) are launching the second phase of the Pension Top Up campaign to encourage older people – or their loved ones – to check they are getting all that they are entitled to.
Pension Top Up campaign phase one
The first phase of the Pension Top Up campaign, launched in January 2021 during the pandemic, was primarily driven by housing providers across Greater Manchester. Many providers activity engaged with their older residents, writing letters, phoning and offered support through the claims process.
The campaign generated at least £3 million of additional income for older GM residents. To our surprise, the additional income came mainly through Attendance Allowance and Housing Benefit rather than Pension Credit.
Pension Top Up campaign phase two
There’s still a huge amount of money going unclaimed across Greater Manchester, and now that we are out of lockdown restrictions, we want to reach even more older people. With rising living costs, it’s so important that older residents don’t miss out on regular income that can really help meet growing household bills.
The second phase of Pension Top Up campaign is being rolled out across the city-region and is supported by Independent Age, Age UK, and Citizens Advice.
To check if you or your older family and friends are getting all the entitled benefits, contact your local social housing provider or Independent Age freephone helpline 0800 319 6789 https://www.independentage.org/get-support