For many, a stable income means financial security. But at times, a sudden change in circumstances can greatly impact your finances and leave you in the lurch about money. Job loss, bereavement or illness, are just some of the factors that can result in having a less predictable income. However, if you’re over 50, you may be entitled to a number of benefits that could help you regain control of your finances and increase your income. Below are just some of the benefits often available to over 50s:
Losing Your Job
Job loss can put a sudden strain on anyone’s finances. Job Seekers Allowance is a benefit that could help to unburden you financially whilst you are looking for work, or if you are working less than 16 hours a week. This benefit can be claimed right up to State Pension age. However, this differs for men and women: currently, the State Pension age for men is 65 and 60 for women, although the women’s State Pension age is gradually increasing to match men’s at 65. However, your birth date will determine the exact date at which you can claim your state pension. You can use the government website to check your State Pension age.
Illness or Disability
If you become ill or have a disability, providing you are under State Pension age, you could claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). This will essentially act as substitute income if you are not receiving statutory sick pay, helping to provide financial stability whilst you are unable to work. You may also qualify for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which can be claimed to help with any additional costs created by your illness or disability.
Upon reaching State Pension age, Attendance Allowance (AA) can often be claimed as a replacement to PIP. Both can be claimed regardless of your earnings or savings, so be sure to check your eligibility for these benefits to ensure you don’t miss out.
If you have recently lost a partner, whether that be your wife, husband or civil partner, and are under State Pension age, you may be eligible to receive a singular Bereavement payment of £2,000. If you are over state pension age, you may still be able to receive Bereavement pay if your partner had not claimed their State Retirement Pension before they passed away. Again, payment can be received regardless of your earnings or savings.
Additionally, if you have not reached State Pension age and receive low earnings, you may be eligible for a weekly Bereavement Allowance providing you are not responsible for a child/children.
Additional Income Support
If you are still working, but are earning a low income, you may qualify for Working Tax Credits. To receive this, you must be under 60 and be working a minimum of 30 hours a week with the exception of having a child/children in your care, meaning you work less. Once you reach your 60th birthday, the number of working hours required to receive Tax Credits decreases to 16 hours per week.
Other Low-Income Benefits
There are a number of other benefits that you may also be eligible to receive if you earn a low income. These can include:
- Income Support
- Council Tax Support
- Housing Benefit (for rented property)
- Free health costs including NHS prescriptions
- Support for mortgage interest
Whatever your age, the only way to know what benefits you are entitled to is through an individual benefits check. This will determine your eligibility based on your own unique circumstances, so don’t wait. You can use the Turn2Us benefits calculator to see what financial support you could be getting.
For more money advice or to find out about over 60s benefits, please visit our dedicated money page to ensure you don’t miss out on any extra savings! You can also sign up to our newsletter or get in touch on our social media channels.