Age Scotland is urging couples in Ayrshire not to miss out on up to £10,000 before a major deadline for Pension Credit next week.

New rules mean that “mixed age couples”, where one partner is working age, will no longer be eligible for the benefit after August 13.

This means hundreds of poorest pensioners in Ayrshire could miss out on much-needed extra income. Four in 10 of those entitled to it have not applied, often because they find the process confusing or feel too proud to claim it.

They also miss out on associated benefits, which will include a free TV licence from next year if one partner is aged 75 and older.

The charity is urging people to call their free helpline before the deadline to check if they are eligible. The helpline has already helped people claim more than £600,000 in the past year.