The figures follow emergency regulations laid by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) in March 2022 which enabled Ukrainians to immediately access benefits and other support upon their arrival.
Minister for Pensions Guy Opperman said:
Our priority is ensuring those arriving from Ukraine can find safety here and get the support they need.
Pension Credit provides a vital financial boost which is why we’re helping new arrivals apply, with translation services available for phone applications.
I urge those hosting elderly Ukrainians – and all those across the country with older relatives and friends – to check with them and see if they could be eligible for this extra financial assistance.
As well as help with daily living costs of up to £182.60 per week for single people and £278.70 for couples, Pension Credit also opens up access to other support, such as help with rent and council tax, heating bills, free NHS dental care and free TV licenses for the over-75s.
To be eligible for Pension Credit, people need to be over State Pension age and on a low income. More than 1.4 million pensioners across Great Britain currently receive Pension Credit and take-up is at its highest level since 2010.
The government recently launched a campaign to boost take-up of Pension Credit among UK pensioners. The campaign aims to increase take-up both by encouraging older people to claim and encouraging others to speak to their retired friends and loved ones about the support.
The easiest way for Ukrainian nationals to apply for Pension Credit is by phone and the department has made translation services available to help new arrivals with their applications. The Freephone number – 0800 99 1234 – is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
DWP staff are also delivering additional face-to-face assistance to those who need it, including advice on benefit eligibility and support with online applications.
Immediate access to Pension Credit and other means-tested benefits is just one of the ways the UK is continuing to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Ukrainian people and those forced to flee the country following Russia’s barbaric invasion.