You could be eligible for Pension Credit even if you have a pension, savings or own your own home. Even a small award of Pension Credit can provide access to a wide range of other benefits.
When to apply
You can apply up to four months before the date you reach State Pension age.
You can claim any time after you reach State Pension age, but your claim can only be backdated for three months. This means you can get up to 3 months of Pension Credit in your first payment if you were eligible during that time.
If you want to backdate your claim, you will need details of your income, savings and investments on the date you want your claim to start.
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 are applying by phone or by post
Ways to apply for Pension Credit
You can apply for Pension Credit online, by telephone, by post or download a form on this page
You can apply online if:
- you have already claimed your State Pension
- there are no children or young people included in your claim
- Apply online
Claim by telephone
You can also apply for Pension Credit by phone. To make a claim, telephone the Northern Ireland Pension Centre Application Line. Calls are free.
A family member or friend can call for you - you must be with them when they call.
- Contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre
Download a form
You can download a claim form which also has notes to help you fill it in. You can fill in this version online and print off your completed form:
Send your completed form to the Northern Ireland Pension Centre
To calculate your payment, the Department for Communities uses the date it receives your form, not the date you download the claim form.
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: