Some of the “poorest” pensioners face staggering bills with little support, one woman has warned.

Julie, who asked to keep her full name anonymous, expects to be paying close to a third of her annual income on bills come this January.

The pensioner, 71, is just above the threshold to receive pension credit – which provides living costs help for those on low income and above the state pension age. The threshold for a single person household is £182.60 per week.

Receiving the benefit can also entitle pensioners to other financial support, including those relating to energy and housing.

“The poorest pensioners are those who are those whose income is just above that limit,” she said.

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Living in an “old, cold, ground-floor tenement flat”, Julie admitted that the following months are going to be “quite difficult” on an income of less than £10,000 a year.

She said: “It’s always a big issue when you have these cliff edge thresholds, so either you are on one side or the other.

“I think in order to be fair, it has to be a much more subtle, graduated change. I just particularly want this group of people recognized as being in special difficulties because I very, very rarely hear about them.”

However, Julie said she will find a way to “manage” while “living very economically”.

She said: “There are choices I will have to make. There are things I can’t do which I would have done otherwise and some of them have an impact on my health.

“I need to think very hard about whether I can afford a new mattress, which I really need.

“I also really need podiatry which is almost impossible to get on the NHS at the moment, I can’t afford to do that privately.”

Julie is hopeful she will find a way to get through the winter.

“I might take a few trips with my free bus pass while that still exists to get out and about,” she joked.

Stating that she will be heating as little as possible, she added: “I’m really counting the pennies.”

“I know enough to be able to feed myself hopefully without spending very much money.”

Speaking on others who also fall just short of the threshold, she added: “There are people with a similar income to mine for whom this situation is much more difficult, like if they’re severely disabled. I just really would like more recognition for this particular group of people.”