Here is a list of allowance and benefits that elderly persons are entitled to. Check them out
1. Attendance Allowance
This is a non-means tested allowance meant to help pay for some care in the home, personal care or supervision from a third party. It can be claimed for age 65 and there is a lower level if you need help during the day OR night and an upper level if you need help during the day AND night. Attendance allowance does not depend upon National Insurance contributions and is not affected by your savings or income.
You can claim if you live alone or with a partner, what matters is that you need help, not whether you are getting help. Usually you cannot apply until you have needed help for at least 6 months, but there are special rules in certain circumstances.
The form to be completed is very complex and some searching and personal questions are asked, you may need help completing the form from either a relative, or Age UK or similar. It may be refused on the grounds that the person is not sufficiently physically, mentally, ill or age disabled enough so you must reiterate the seriousness of the need for help.
2. Pension Credit
Pension credit has two parts – the guarantee credit and the savings credit, (which provides extra cash to people of 65 and over who have income over a set level because they have saved and/or have other pensions apart from the state pension.)
There is no upper savings limit for Pension Credit. £6,000 will be ignored and any savings over that amount will be assumed to produce an income of £1 per wk for every £500. It is a very complicated benefit to claim thus many pensioners do not claim. You can receive guidance by contacting the Pension Credit line and may even get an official to come out to see you and help you fill the form in, you will need to produce various bank statements, savings accounts etc., before a claim can be entered.
A lot of people find this very intrusive and they are too proud as they consider it similar to the old Means Test, which was very humiliating. However, I was lucky and a nice lady came to see my Mum and myself, she was very knowledgeable and efficient, thus Mum was able to claim a small guarantee credit to supplement her State pension.
3. Carers Allowance
If the person you are caring or responsible for is claiming Attendance allowance at any level, sometimes a carers allowance can be claimed. However, if you are earning in excess of £5k per year or are retired and claiming a State pension, this is not possible. The latter seeming rather unfair as a person on a pension is likely to need some financial help with caring, even if only to cover petrol, bus fares etc., for regular visits to the relative/friend they care for.
4. Help With Health Costs
Most treatment from the NHS is free but there are some things for which people have to pay all, or some, of the costs. Over 60’s get free eye tests and free prescriptions. Some opticians, pharmacies offer free hearing tests. You will have to pay for dental treatment if you are lucky enough to have an NHS dentist, unless of course you are on some other kind of benefit which qualifies you for free treatment, hospital travel costs and help paying for spectacles.
5. Other Concessions
Over 60’s can get a senior railcard which entitles them to one third off train fares, they can also get a local authority travel pass to claim free bus travel over Britain, this does not include Wales & Scotland, between the hours of 9.30am and 11pm. Sometimes on production of a bus pass you may get coach fares at half price, this differs between coach companies.
TV licences are free for households with a person aged 75 or over and people registered blind receive a 50% reduction.
Most national museum and art galleries now have free entry for older people, this extends abroad also, on production of a valid proof of age. Reductions for off peak leisure centres and swimming pools, lower admission to places of interest, reduced fees or occasionally free taster adult education classes. You may find local hairdressers and beauticians have special days and rates for senior citizens. Keep a look out for reductions. Pubs and restaurants also offer senior citizens special meals, usually at lunchtimes or early bird offers in the evening, which can be good value.
6. Heating Costs
The Government offers a one-off winter fuel payment to over 60’s and a higher one for over 80’s, this can differ to which party is in power and the state of the economy. There is also a special cold day payment if say in the winter there is a period of 6 days or so when temperatures fall below a certain temperature.
I am sure if you keep your eyes and ears open you may even find more offers for over 60’s, the Internet offer discount vouchers, plus many more I have not heard of.