Late last year, a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation concluded that older adults were one of the most prominent groups to be affected by poverty in the UK, with 1.9 million pensioners living on the breadline in 2015-2016.
At the turn of the century, the number of retirees struggling financially began to fall, dropping to 13 percent by 2011-2012. However, according to recent statistics, in the last few years, the number of pensioners living in poverty has once again risen to 16 percent. This is thought to be the outcome of fixed Pension Credit rates, which until April this year, have failed to reflect the changing prices in food costs, housing and work-related pension schemes.
Consequently, many pensioners have been left living in relative poverty, whereby they cannot afford to live to a societal standard of living. However, many are unaware that as well as Pension Credit, they could be eligible to receive several other benefits that could help make retirement a lot more comfortable, especially for those over 70. Below, we outline some of the benefits available for pensioners over 70:
Attendance allowance is a benefit that can be claimed to help finance personal care at home for those who need support as the result of an illness or disability. If you need assistance during the day or at night, you could receive £55.65 every week to help pay for your care. If you require assistance during the day and the night, you could receive £83.10 every week to help pay for your care. This is a tax-free benefit that could significantly help with care costs; however, it does not have to be spent on this. To find out more about Attendance Allowance, call the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0345 605 6055.
Council Tax Support
If you earn a low wage or are already claiming certain benefits, Council Tax Support is another benefit that you could claim to reduce your council tax bill. However, the reduction you receive will depend on the area you live in as different councils have their own unique council tax reduction schemes that they implement locally. The amount taken off your bill will also be determined by:
- How old you are
- Your earnings
- Your savings
- Whether you live alone
- What benefits you are claiming
- The cost of your council tax
To find out if you are eligible to receive Council Tax Support, contact your local authorities for more information concerning their Council Tax Support scheme.
Due to the fact that rent costs take a large percentage of many people’s monthly income, claiming housing benefit can help to alleviate financial strain for those with low earnings or little savings. Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit; thus, the amount you receive will depend on:
- Your rental costs
- Your savings
- Whether you live alone
- How many rooms you have in your home
- If you receive other benefits including Attendance Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and Personal Independence Payment
If you are a homeowner who is not paying rent, you will not qualify to receive Housing Benefit. However, if you have a mortgage, you may be eligible to receive financial help with mortgage interest payments instead as an extension of your Pension Credit.
TV Licence Concessions
This is a fantastic benefit for seniors who spend a lot of time in their home and enjoy watching television. If you are over 75, you can receive a free UK TV licence that will cover each TV in your home, no matter how many you have. It will also cover others in your home while they watch television, regardless of their age. If you are under 75 but are blind or visually impaired, you can receive a 50% reduction cost on of your TV licence. However, if you do not live alone, the TV licence must be purchased in your name to receive the discount, providing you are the person who is blind or visually impaired.
Winter Fuel Payment
Winter Fuel Payment is received annually to help with the cost of heating your home during the cold winter months. It is a tax-free payment that is usually made in either November or December when the weather turns colder and indoor heating is needed to keep warm at home. If you are state pension age or claim particular benefits such as Pension Credit, you should automatically receive Winter Fuel Payment. However, if you don’t but are eligible, you will need to claim for it as you could be receiving up to £200 if you are under 80. For those over 80, a £300 payment is available. To find out more about claiming Winter Fuel Payment, call the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 0345 915 1515.
If you are a pensioner aged over 70 who is struggling with living costs, these benefits could help make retirement a lot more comfortable for you, so don’t wait. Check your eligibility now and for further information on how to save money, please visit our dedicated money page or reach out to us on social media for expert advice.