Applying for Pension Credit
You can apply for Pension Credit online, by phone or by completing an application form. Download an application form on this page.
You can get Pension Credit even if you have other income, 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 apply any time after you reach State Pension age, but your application can only be backdated by 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 to backdate your application to (usually 3 months ago or the date you reached State Pension age)
What you need to claim
You will need the following information about you and your partner if you have one:
- National Insurance number
- information about any income, savings and investments you have
- information about your income, savings and investments on the date you want to backdate your application to (usually 3 months ago or the date you reached State Pension age)
You will also need 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
- Apply online
Claim by telephone
You can apply for Pension Credit by phone. To make a claim, telephone the Northern Ireland Pension Centre Application Line. Calls are free.
It is taking longer than usual to apply by phone because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
A family member or friend can call for you - you must be with them when they call.
If you use sign language, you might be able to use the video relay service to apply for Pension Credit using British Sign Language (BSL) or Irish Sign Language (ISL). To access the service go to:
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 costs at the same time as your application for Pension Credit.
Or you may qualify for help with your mortgage interest payments:
Get a proof of benefit letter for Pension Credit
A proof of benefit letter may be needed to access various government supports and services.