MORE than 3,800 pensioners in Portsmouth are living in poverty and not claiming benefits they are entitled to, according to a charity.
Independent Age says they are failing to claim pension credit.
June Clarkson, secretary of the Portsmouth Pensioners’ Association, said many people are not claiming the benefit because of ‘pride’.
She said: ‘The terrible thing is that those who are the poorest are single women. It is the top-up that you can get but many people do not admit to being on it.
‘We are surprised that people don’t admit being on it, but it is a pride thing.
‘I do know that for whatever reason a lot of pensioners do not apply for it.
‘If they think their sons or daughters can help them out they don’t apply.
‘I would consider it to be a lot more than 3,800 that are hard up in Portsmouth.’
Victoria Richards, head of advice and support for Independent Age, said: ‘With rising prices a huge source of anxiety to many pensioners, pension credit really can make all the difference to those in later life.
‘In some cases, it can also passport pensioners to other benefits such as council tax and housing benefit.’
Independent Age has launched a free Wise Guide book to help Portsmouth’s poorest pensioners put more cash in their pockets.
These are available free and can be ordered over the phone on 0845 262 1863.