When to apply
You can apply up to four months before the date when you start getting Pension Credit. Pension Credit qualifying age is gradually increasing in line with the increase in women's State Pension age. You can use the State Pension age calculator to find out the date you will become eligible to receive Pension Credit.
You can claim any time after you reach Pension Credit qualifying age, but your claim can only be backdated for three months.
If you want Pension Credit to start on a past or future date, you need to tell the Northern Ireland Pension Centre when you apply.
Claim by telephone
The quickest way to apply for Pension Credit is by phone. To make a claim, telephone the Northern Ireland Pension Centre Application Line. Calls are free and the form will be completed for you.
A family member or friend can call for you - you must be with them when they call.
Download a form
When you reach the qualifying age, you can apply for Pension Credit:
You can download, print and complete a claim form. When the form is complete, you can do either of the following:
- post it to the office shown on the form
- hand it in at your nearest Social security or Jobs & benefits office
To calculate your payment, the Department for Communities uses the date it receives your form, not the date you download the claim form.
Ask for a form
You can get Pension Credit forms from your local Social security or Jobs & benefits office. Contact one of their offices.
What you need to claim
You will need:
- your National Insurance number
- information about your income, savings and investments
- your bank account details
If you disagree with a decision
If you are refused Pension Credit or think it has been calculated wrongly, ask the Northern Ireland Pension Centre to look at the decision again. If you are still unhappy with the outcome, you can appeal to an independent Appeal Tribunal.
Housing Benefit, Rate Relief or help with mortgage interest payments
The Northern Ireland Pension Centre can also help you apply for Housing Benefit at the same time as your application for Pension Credit.
Or you may qualify for help with your mortgage interest payments: