Many pensioners don't claim the benefits they are entitled to, it's good to know what grants for the elderly are available
Following retirement, you’re still feeling young and the word ‘elderly’ isn’t something we can yet associate with. However, once the milestone age of 65 is reached, there are certain financial benefits, it’s good to know what grants for the elderly are available either for yourself, or for a loved one.
It might be that you have an elderly relative who has not realised what financial help they can receive. This is often the case, and we have over £3.5bn worth of elderly benefits and grants going unclaimed each year in the UK. Many elderly people struggling to pay for winter fuel and the like, so it’s something that we should be trying to inform them of. It’s worth checking in with your older relatives to find out if they are claiming all that they are able to.
Pension Credit is an income based benefit that tops up your income if you are under a certain threshold. It comes in two parts;
- Guarantee Credit – this tops up your income if you are below the weekly income threshold
- Savings Credit – provides a top up to your weekly income if you have saved some money, or your income is higher than state pension
This video from Age UK gives a quick overview of the Pension Credit that you can share with your ageing relative:
Housing benefit offers support to those who are on a low income and need help to pay their rent. It does not apply to those who are retired and still paying a mortgage.
It is means tested and there are criteria to meet for eligibility and the amount you receive can vary depending on what eligibility criteria you meet.
Once you are over 65, you can apply for a Council Tax bill reduction. This again is means tested so it can really help if the pension income isn’t quite covering everything you need it to.
You could get your Council Tax bill paid in full if you are also in receipt of the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit. You may get a reduction of the bill if you are below a savings threshold.
When you are over 65 and are caring for someone, then you may not receive the full amount of Carers Allowance. This is because it overlaps with the Pension Credit, if already receiving it. It does mean however that you may be entitled to get more money to recognise you as a carer when you apply for other means tested benefits.
If for example, your weekly state pension amount is less than Carers Allowance, then you can apply to receive Carers Allowance to make up the difference.
Attendance Allowance is provided to people who are over 65 and have either a mental or physical disability. It is provided in two different rates, depending on the level of care that your disability requires.
When you are over 75, you can get a free television licence.
Winter Fuel Allowance
If you were born on or before 5 August 1953 you could be receiving between £100 and £300 to help you pay for your heating bills.
The Winter Fuel Payment is usually paid automatically to you if you’re eligible and you get the State Pension. If you’re eligible but don’t get paid automatically, you’ll need to make a claim.
Home Energy and Efficiency Grants
There are still millions of pounds worth of energy efficiency grants going unclaimed in the UK. There is the opportunity to get a new boiler and new insulation – this could save a lot in energy bills. People in receipt of Pension Credit are more likely to qualify for an energy grant.
Cold Weather Payment
If the winter is hard and the temperature hits zero degrees and you are receiving Pension Credit, then you can be entitled to a Cold Weather Payment. The payment applies if the average temperature is, or is forecast to be 0°C or below for seven days in a row between 1 November and 31 March.
Warm Home Discount
The big energy suppliers are required by law to help vulnerable customers pay for their energy use. The Warm Home Discount applies to those who are eligible, including with Pension Credit. It means you are able to get £140 rebate on energy bills.
If you are now older and living with a disability, there are several things that can be covered by your Local Authority to help you continue living independently in your own home. This can be home adaptations for the elderly, home improvements, or even moving to a more suitable home. You can talk with your Local Authority to find out more and if you or your ageing relative is eligible.
Other Grants and Benefits
There are other means tested benefits or grants that you can get from services such as your phone bill and water bills. Make sure you are aware of them all, and ensure that any of your older relatives are getting all of the help they need.