A new report suggests that pensioners across East Lancashire could be missing out on a total of almost £35million in pension credit.

Recent research by the charity, Independent Age, suggests that in 2016/17, many pensioners who are struggling to get by, don't know about the pension credit that is available to them.

Figures show that pensioners in Blackburn are missing out on around £9,549,617, while older people in Pendle are missing out on £6,289,990.

While Rossendale and Darwen’s poorest pensioners have missed out on £4.38 million in pension credits.

Pension Credit is a state benefit to help pensioners on limited incomes who don't get the full state pension.

It tops up their pension to a guaranteed minimum of around £167 for single people, or £255 for couples and also unlocks other help like discounts on some electricity bills and, in future, free TV licences for over-75s.

However, pensioners don't get the extra money automatically, they have to apply, and research by Independent Age suggests that many pensioners don't know about it, or how to apply for it.

Rossendale Council leader Alyson Barnes said: "Older people in Rossendale and Darwen should check whether they are eligible for pension credit to ensure that they are getting what they are entitled to.

"There are organisations like Citizens Advice who can help with this and people can contact them by phoning 0300 456 2552."

Figures for the remaining local authorities in East Lancashire are as follows:

Burnley - £5,711,145

Hyndburn - £5,661,367

Ribble Valley - £3,079,627

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "Pensioner poverty rates have fallen dramatically in recent years with relative pensioner poverty rates halved since 1990.

"We want everyone to claim what they are entitled to. Everyone who claims their state pension receives a letter which encourages them to contact us directly over the phone to discuss their pension credit entitlement."