Most pensioners in the UK are entitled to some kind of financial help. However, as stated by Age UK, many benefits to help the elderly are not taken, with Pension Credit and Housing Benefits alone racking up around £3.5 billion of unclaimed support. Often, this is due to the fact that many seniors are unaware of these benefits or don’t realise that they are eligible to receive them. Consequently, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common payments often available to people aged over 65:
Attendance allowance is a benefit that can be claimed by people aged 65 and over who are affected by an illness or disability, and consequently, require extra support to help them live independently and remain in their home. If you require help with personal care for a daily or nightly period, you could receive an Attendance Allowance payment of £55.65 per week. If you need help with personal care over a full 24-hour period, you could receive an Attendance Allowance payment of £83.10 per week. This is normally paid every month in a lump sum, which is then spread over four weeks. For more information about Attendance Allowance, call the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0345 605 6055.
Cold Weather Payment
The Cold Weather Payment is available to anybody aged 65 and over, providing they already claim some kind of income-related support. Those who are eligible can receive a £25 payment for each week of cold weather that occurs during the period from November to March. However, the payment is only made when the temperature drops to 0°C or below for a week or is forecast by the Met Office to drop to this level for this amount of time. The Cold Weather Payment can also be claimed in addition to the Winter Fuel Payment.
Hospital Travel Expense Support
This is a payment created to help with costs accumulated when travelling to hospital and is available to people aged 65 and over who receive Pension Guarantee Credit or are made eligible as a result of the low-income scheme. To get the payment, when visiting the hospital, you must inform staff of your intentions to claim back your travel expenses. They will then ask you to show certain documentation, such as a tax credit exemption certificate, to prove that you are eligible to do so. You must also retain any travel receipts from your journey to and from the hospital in order to make a claim.
Pension credit is a benefit that provides financial support to retirees and consists of two parts: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. Guarantee Credit is essentially a buffer that is added to your income to ensure you receive the minimum amount of £159.35 per week if you are not in a relationship. For couples, Guarantee Credit tops up your combined income to ensure you receive the minimum amount of £243.45 per week. Saving Credit is then provided if your income is greater than the basic state pension or you have some money saved. If this is the case, the current system enables you to potentially receive up to £13.20 more a week if you are not in a relationship or an additional £14.90 per week if you are a couple. However, as of April this year, new rates will come into effect, increasing Guarantee Credit for singletons to £163 per week and £248.80 per week for couples. Savings Credit will also be upped to a weekly amount of £13.40 for those not in a relationship and £14.99 a week for those who are. You can whether you are eligible to receive Pension Credit by using the gov.uk calculator.
There are several transport concessions available in the UK to those over 60, including a senior railcard, a London Freedom Pass and reductions for disabled seniors. Both female and male seniors can also receive a free bus pass upon reaching women's state pension age; if you were born between September 6, 1953, and October 5, 1953, you will be eligible for a free bus pass this month (March 2018). Additionally, further discounts for older people are commonly offered by individual travel companies. Consequently, if you’re travelling at a particular time with a certain company, it may be worth getting in touch prior to your journey to see whether you are eligible to receive further discounts on your travel costs. Similarly, your local council may offer an elderly travel scheme that could save you money on public transport costs. For more information or to see whether this is something that is available to you, get in touch with your local authorities.
For more information on money saving tips or to find out about benefits for over 60s, please visit our money page or get in touch on social media to tell us how you’re saving money!