Are you claiming everything you are entitled to in later life?
A recent story from Age UK has found that millions of older people are struggling financially, despite £3.5 billion being owed in unclaimed benefits. This has led to a rise in pensioner poverty.
It’s important that older people are aware of everything that they are entitled to and ensure that they are receiving all payments and incentives. This can be done by the person themselves, or a relative/friend could help by researching what is available.
The Age UK article quotes government figures that suggest 1.9 million pensioners are living below the poverty line. Age UK says that 1 in 4 over-65s are finding it difficult to make ends meet, and that 1 in 10 would not be able to find the money to pay for unexpected repairs or outgoings.
Here we take a quick look at what you could be entitled to in later life.
Attendance Allowance is a benefit that older people, aged 65 and over, can claim to help with personal care and to stay independent at home, due to physical or mental disability. There are two different rates available depending on the level of care needed, which are currently £55.65 or £83.10 a week, usually paid four weekly. People who get Attendance Allowance may also find that other benefits that they can get increase. Find out more about eligibility on the government website.
Personal Independence Payments
Personal Independence Payments, or PIPs, are replacing Disability Living Allowance on a rolling basis. It is a payment designed to help pay for some of the extra costs caused by long-term illness or disability, up to the age of 64. It is awarded based on an assessment of need, and the rate is reviewed regularly to continue to meet changing needs. You can read more about eligibility and the assessment criteria on the government website.
There are two types of Pension Credit, which are income-related. The Guarantee Credit is designed to top up your weekly income if it’s below £159.35 (for single people) or £243.25 (for couples). The Savings Credit is an extra sum for those who have some savings or if your income is higher than the basic State Pension. It is only available to people who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, and is worth £13.20 extra per week (for single people) and £14.90 a week (for couples). It is worth applying, even if you are only due a small amount, as having Pension Credit can open up other benefits, including:
Reduced or no Council Tax
Free NHS dental treatment
Cold Weather Payment of £25 for every 7-day period of very cold weather between November and March
Housing Benefit, for those living in rented accommodationHome owners may be eligible for help with mortgage interest, ground rent or service charges
Find out more about Pension Credit and whether you could be eligible on the government website.