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From pension credits to marriage allowance — benefits you didn’t know you were entitled to & how to apply

OVER-75s lose their free TV licences from this weekend – but millions can still get them due to a little-known benefit.

Pension credit is among the various Government schemes aimed at helping Brits at different stages of their life, including first-time buyers, parents, married people and pensioners.

Here are some benefits you didn't know you were entitled to
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Here are some benefits you didn't know you were entitled toCredit: Alamy

But often these state handouts go unclaimed because families don’t know about them or are too busy, leaving them as much as £3,000 per year out of pocket.

Today we look at what you must not miss out on. 

The elderly: Pension credit (including TV licence)

Pension Credit is extra money for struggling pensioners, topping up their income to £173.75 per week for a single person or £265.20 per week for a couple. 

They can also get savings credit, additional payments for those who have saved towards retirement, for example, with a pension.

The average weekly amount received is £58 — more than £3,000 a year, according to the Government.

Around 1.5million households get it, but a further 590,000 eligible people don’t.

Note if your partner has not reached pension age, you will not be able to claim unless you receive housing benefit.

Getting it means you get other benefits, such as free TV licences, as well as help with council tax, free NHS dental treatment and cold weather payments.

'Credit is life-saver'

GRAN Sally Gordon, 76, says pension credit has been a “lifesaver”.

The retired dinner lady, from Merseyside, said: “I was lucky I got it automatically when I reached state pension age at 60. 

“It’s a shame so many eligible people don’t receive it as it’s a fantastic benefit.”

She added: “There’s so much attached to it. I get a free TV licence, my rent is paid and I don’t pay council tax. There’s also cold weather payments if it gets chilly in winter.

“It’s all due to pension credit. It makes a big difference and I couldn’t manage without it.”

Young people: Lifetime ISAs

Some 230,000 Brits aged between 18 and 50 are getting free money for saving for their first home or retirement — although thousands more are losing out. 

For every £4 you save, the Government will add in £1, with a maximum bonus of £1,000 a year. The average bonus is £677 a year, according to the latest figures.

You can also get interest or returns on your savings, depending on whether the ISA is a cash or investment one. Nottingham Building Society is currently top for cash at 1.25 per cent. Funds can be withdrawn tax-free at any time in order to buy a first home worth up to £450,000, or you can use it for anything from age 60. 

But withdraw it under any other circumstances and there’s a 25 per cent penalty on the amount you’ve taken (currently 20 per cent until April — the penalty has been lowered because of the Covid crisis). Note that you can’t apply after the age of 39.

Married couples: Marriage allowance

Married couples can get a tax rebate of up to £250 depending on how much they earn.

If one earns less than £12,500, and the other gets between £12,501 and £50,000 (£43,430 in Scotland), the lower earner can transfer over £1,250 of their tax-free allowance so the breadwinner pays less tax.

Married couples can get a tax rebate of up to £250 but 1.78million of them are missing out
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Married couples can get a tax rebate of up to £250 but 1.78million of them are missing outCredit: Getty Images - Getty

Around 1.78million couples out of 4.2million eligible ones are missing out, according to the latest Government figures. You can also backdate claims over the last four tax years, going back to April 2016, meaning a rebate of up to £1,188.

Parents: Tax-free childcare

Struggling with nursery bills? Get 20 per cent off through the tax-free childcare scheme. 

You simply sign up on the Government’s website, pay your nursery bills through the account and for every £8 you put in, you get £2 back. 

The maximum you can get is £2,000 a year, although that would mean paying nursery bills as high as £8,000. 

To qualify, your child must be under 12 and both parents must be in work, earning between £120 a week and £100,000 a year.

The Government says only a quarter of the 1.3million families eligible for the help have signed up so far.

Raging Inverclyde pensioner tells This Morning 'I'd rather go to jail than pay TV licence' as free service for over 75s scrapped

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