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Pensioners: Social Security Benefits

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information is given to pensioners on their entitlement to benefits upon reaching the age of retirement. (134018)

Information on entitlement to benefits upon reaching state pension age (currently 60 for women and 65 for men) is provided in a number of ways:

A state pension claim pack is sent out to all customers, four months and four days before their state pension age. This includes information on pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit.

Customers who claim their state pension by telephone are now also able to claim any entitlements they may have to pension credit, housing benefit and/or council tax benefit in the same call.

Winter fuel payments are made to people aged 60 or over (men and women). Over 99 per cent. of the payments are made automatically without the need to claim. Some people who are not in receipt of a benefit administered by DWP need to claim. Each year we send claim forms automatically to everyone who we know from departmental records will be aged 60 by the end of the qualifying week and for whom we have a current address. An extensive publicity campaign begins in July and includes advertisements in both regional and national newspapers.