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Pensioners: Social Security Benefits

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps the Government are taking to simplify the process for pensioners to claim benefits to which they are entitled. (225281)

We have simplified the claim process to make pension credit easier to claim. Customers no longer need to sign and return their pension credit claim forms, claims can be made entirely over the phone.

This autumn, we are introducing a measure which will enable claims to housing benefit and council tax benefit made over the phone with pension credit, to be forwarded directly to the local authority without the need for a signature—this is a significant simplification to the claim process and should benefit thousands of pensioners.

In February 2007, an additional question was introduced in the pension credit application process to identify relevant caring responsibilities in order to invite the customer, where appropriate, to claim carer's allowance using a new, shortened, claim pack specifically designed for people of pension age.