The Government is urging everyone eligible to sign up for cost of living support worth up to £3,500.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be sending letters out to 11,000 people to stress the importance of signing up for Pension Credit.

Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, told MPs in the House of Commons that during one week in December alone, that applications for the benefit were up 73% on the same time last year.

Mr Stride said: “Two-thirds of those we believe are eligible for Pension Credit receive it, but that means that one-third do not.

Daily Echo: Mel StrideMel Stride (Image: PA)

“We cannot identify them precisely in advance, which is why communication is so important."

The average Pension Credit award is worth over £3,500 a year and even a small Pension Credit award can provide access to a wide range of other benefits – such as help with housing costs, council tax or heating bills – in addition to the extra cost of living payments.

What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is designed to help people over State Pension age and on a low income with daily living costs, though you do not need to be in receipt of State Pension to receive it.

It tops up a person’s income to a minimum of £182.60 per week for single pensioners and to £278.70 for couples.

To ensure that a successful backdated claim falls within the qualifying period for the extra £324 cost of living help, eligible pensioners are being urged to claim Pension Credit as soon as possible, and by no later than 18 December 2022.

Currently, around 1.4 million pensioners in Britain receive Pension Credit. However, many are still not claiming this extra financial help.