The council has urged borough residents to check if they are eligible for pension top up payments as millions of pounds go unclaimed.

Figures have revealed that approximately 36,000 qualifying households across Greater Manchester are missing out on around £70m in unclaimed Pension Credit.

They could also be missing out on extra cost of living payments which the government is making this year.

In Bury, around £4m is going unclaimed by approximately 2,175 qualifying households.

Pension credit is designed to bring the weekly income of pensioners up to a minimum amount and could make those eligible £34 a week better off on average.

In addition to the extra weekly cash, Pension Credit also unlocks other financial benefits including a free TV licence for over-75s, council tax support, and money towards green home insulation.

Those receiving Pension Credit will also get an extra £650 from the government this year to pay for cost-of-living rises.

This will be given out in two payments with the first £326 going into pensioners’ accounts now.

However, to qualify for this payment, people need to have applied for Pension Credit by Thursday, August 18.

The main reason older people don’t claim is that they don’t think they are eligible.

When it comes to finance and benefits, older people are most likely to respond to one-to-one prompting from family and friends or from trusted local contacts.

The campaign encourages everyone to ask their older family members, friends and customers: 'Have you topped up?.

Cllr Richard Gold, cabinet member for finance and communities at the council, said: “We are introducing a range of measures to help households with the cost of living, including a payment of £100 from the government’s Household Support Fund to every pensioner who receives council tax benefit.

“Pension Credit can provide extra income to those in need, and I would encourage everyone to check if family members and friends are eligible for the top up.”

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham added: “With so much pressure on household finances, it’s vital that older people are getting all the money they are entitled to.

“A third of those eligible for pension credit in Greater Manchester aren’t claiming, with many missing out on income from attendance allowance and housing benefit too.”

To check if you or a loved one are getting all the entitlements you are due, contact your local social housing provider, visit the Independent Age website Independent Age or call their freephone helpline 0800 319 6789.