IT'S your last chance to claim pension credit and qualify for the £301 cost of living payment, MP MelStride has warned.

Mel, who is Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, is urging pensioners on low incomes in his constituency and across the country to check whether they qualify for Pension Credit.

If claimed before 19th May, the benefit, worth an average of £3,500 a year, could also trigger a £301 cost of living support payment that the government is making to low income households.

CentralDevon MP Mr Stride said: 'In the autumn I took the decision, in consultation with the Chancellor, to fully uprate the state pension by inflation, taking the New State Pension above £10,000 a year for the first time. This is just one part of the extensive support the government is providing to help pensioners with the cost of living.

'But the most helpful thing any pensioner on a low income can do is to check their eligibility for PensionCredit – it can make a huge difference to their monthly income.'

Pension Credit is designed to help people over State Pension age and on a low income with daily living costs, though you do not need to be in receipt of State Pension to receive it. It tops up a person’s income to a minimum of £201.05 perweek for single pensioners and to £306.85 for couples or more if a person has a disability or caring responsibilities. Worth on average over £3,500 a year, even a small Pension Credit award can provide access to a wide range of other benefits – such as help with housing costs, council tax or heating bills – in addition to the extra cost of living payments, worth up to £900 this financial year.

 Applications: for Pension Credit can be made at or by phoning 0800 991234 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm).