Age UK warned that many older people are missing out on extra income because they are not receiving Pension Credit, despite being eligible
Age UK is urging pensioners to check whether they qualify for pensions credit, which opens the door to other benefits including Cold Weather Payments and the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
Energy bills are expected to go up by as much as 50% from April, when the new price cap comes into force, leaving many families unable to make ends meet.
Many older people are reliant on the state pension as their main source of income and do not have the flex in their finances to cope with such enormous price rises.
Age UK found that 24% of older people say they will be forced to choose between heating their home and the food they buy if their energy bills increase substantially.
Just over two-fifths (43%) said they would have to cut back, go into debt or simply will not be able to afford to pay their bill.
Inflation jumped to a near 30-year high of 5.4% in December, further stretching the finances for British families.
Age UK warned that many older people are missing out on extra income because they are not receiving Pension Credit, despite being eligible.
It said many older people on low incomes are unaware that they qualify for Pension Credit, and that a successful claim opens the door to a wide range of other support, including help with energy bills.
As part of its campaign The Cost Of Cold, Age UK is urging any older person on a low or modest income who is struggling with their bills to have a full benefits check.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: We are being contacted every day by desperate older people in this position, people for whom there are only ‘bad choices’ – ration your energy use, cut back on food or other essentials, or go into debt.