Pension Credit

Pension Credit is a benefit for people who have reached State Pension age and have a low income. If you are living with cancer, you may be able to claim.

What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is a benefit for people who have reached a certain age and have a low income. To get Pension Credit, you and your partner, if you have one, must both have reached State Pension age. Your partner means:

  • 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.

Pension Credit is made up of two different parts. They are:

  • Guarantee Credit
  • Savings Credit.

Guarantee Credit

Guarantee Credit increases your weekly income if it is below a certain amount. You may get extra payments if you:

  • are a carer
  • are severely disabled
  • are responsible for a child or young person
  • have certain housing costs.

The money you earn (your income) will be checked to see if it is below a certain amount. Some of the money you earn is not included. This is usually:

  • £5 a week for single people
  • £10 a week for couples
  • £20 a week for certain other people, such as those who have a severe disability.

This means you can still earn some money and be considered to have a low income.

Savings Credit

Savings Credit is a weekly payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement (for example, in a personal pension). If you reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, you may not be able to get the Savings 

For more information, or to find out the exact date when you can get State Pension and Pension Credit, visit gov.uk/pension-credit. Or call 0808 808 00 00 to speak to a Macmillan welfare rights adviser.

How much could I get?

  • If you are single

    If you are single, you can get a weekly guarantee credit of whatever amount is needed to increase your weekly income to £177.10. This means you will get the extra money needed to bring your weekly income or pension up to this amount. For example, if your only income was a State Pension of £137.60 a week, you would get £39.50 guarantee credit a week. This is £177.10 - £137.60. Single people also get a weekly savings credit of up to £14.04.

  • If you are part of a couple

    If you are part of a couple, you can get a weekly guarantee credit of whatever amount is needed to increase your weekly income to £270.30. For example, if the only income you and your partner received was a State Pension of £219.80, you would get £50.50 guarantee credit a week. This is £270.30 - £219.80. Couples can also get a weekly savings credit of up to £15.71.

You could get more if you are:

  • a carer
  • severely disabled
  • responsible for a child or young person.

You may also get more if you have certain housing costs. But these extra payments may be affected if you go into hospital or a care home, depending on how long you stay. It is important to tell the Pension Service about any changes in your situation.

If your care home fees are paid partly or fully by public funds, you may have to contribute towards them. Pension Credit counts as your income when calculating how much you must contribute towards your care home fees. But, a small part of your income should not be included if you are aged 65 or over and get Savings Credit. The amount depends on where you live and whether you are single or part of a couple.

You do not pay tax on Pension Credit.

People who get Pension Credit can also apply for a loan to help with mortgage interest payments. We have more information about getting help with housing costs.

How to apply

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can:

  • call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234
  • use textphone 0800 169 0133
  • claim online at GOV.UK or get a claim form from your local Citizens Advice.

If you live in Northern Ireland you can:

  • call 0808 100 6165
  • use textphone 0808 100 2198
  • apply online or download a claim form from  nidirect.gov.uk

About our information


  • Reviewers

    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by Macmillan professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Sean Conroy, Macmillan Welfare Rights and Energy Advice Team Service Manager.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.