If you’re over 70, you’re probably wondering which benefits for pensioners over 70 (UK) you can claim.
The good news is that there’s lots you can get access to when you’re in your seventies alongside your State Pension.
If you meet specific income and care needs criteria, you may also be eligible for government benefits to help you cover costs.
This article will cover everything you need to know about benefits for pensioners over 70 (UK), plus discounts and freebies!
Here’s a summary of what we’ll cover:
- If you’re 70 or over, you’ll be of State Pension age, so you can claim your pension and other benefits.
- Some benefits for pensioners over 70 in the UK are Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance, and Winter Fuel Payment.
- You may also be able to get a Council Tax reduction, Housing Benefit and free TV Licence.
- There are also lots of great discounts and free things you can get from 60 onwards, so don’t miss out!
Are there benefits for pensioners over 70?
Yes – there are benefits for eligible pensioners over the age of 70 in England, aside from the State Pension.
None of them specifically relate to being over 70, but they may still apply to you!
We’ll cover Attendance Allowance for care needs, Pension Credit for income top up and benefits to help with living costs.
Bear in mind that financial benefits for elderly can be different in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Are there any freebies or discounts for pensioners over 70 (UK)?
The good news is that there are lots of things you can get for free when you’ve reached a certain age!
While you don’t necessarily get more benefits after 70, there are lots of discounts for people 60+.
If you’re over 60 you can get:
- Free prescriptions
- Free NHS sight test
- London residents can get free travel in and around London with a 60+ London Oyster photocard.
- Senior Railcard for discounts on rail travel
When you reach State pension age apply for an Older person’s Bus Pass and London Freedom Pass (London residents).
You can continue using these benefits well into your seventies and beyond.
What are benefits for pensioners over 70 UK based on?
Let’s take a look at the benefits on offer in a little more detail.
State Pension Age
There is no longer a default retirement age of 65 as the new State Pension age is based on when you were born.
It is currently at 66 and will gradually rise to 67 and then 68 for those born after 5 April 1960.
There are some benefits you can only apply for if you are over the State Pension age – some replace benefits you got when you were younger.
Cost of living support
If you were born before 25 September 1957 you could get a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023/2024.
This is a payment of between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills.
Your payment includes a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment amounting to between £150 and £300.
Eligibility is automatic, so you’ll get a letter in October or November saying how much you’ll get.
Which benefits are based on age?
The only automatic age related benefit is the Winter Fuel Payment for people born before 25th September 1957.
Otherwise, you must be over the state pension age to receive benefits, such as Attendance Allowance and Pension Credit.
Though there are other criteria (based on income or care needs) you must also meet to be able to claim each benefit.
If you’re younger than the State Pension age, there may be equivalent benefits you can claim, like Personal Independence Payment.
Which benefits are based on income?
Some benefits are only available to people who are on a low income, which means they earn below a certain amount.
Income counts as money from your pension(s), social security benefits (eg. Carer’s Allowance) or earnings.
Benefits for pensioners over 70 on a low income provide a top up payment to individuals or couples.
One low income benefit is Pension Credit, which is only available to people over State Pension age.
Pension Credit therefore replaces Universal Credit, which is for people below State Pension age.
What do you get?
Pension Credit tops up your weekly income to £201.05 if you’re a single person, or you and your partner’s joint income to £306.85.
You can be awarded extra amounts of money (known as Guarantee Credit) if you meet other criteria.
For example, if you have an illness or disability and claim Attendance Allowance.
Or if you care for another adult and claim Carer’s Allowance – but check the eligibility criteria set out by the government.
I get Pension Credit, what other help is available?
If you receive Pension Credit, you may also be eligible for these benefits:
- Housing benefit – Get help with all or part of your rent but be aware that different rules apply for couples.
- Council Tax discount – If you receive Guarantee Credit you may get your Council Tax paid in full, otherwise, you can get a discount.
- Free TV licence – If you’re over 75.
- Warm home discount – Money off your electricity bill for winter 2023 to 2024 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
- Cold Weather Payment – £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.
- Free dental treatment – Through the NHS low income scheme.
Benefits for pensioners over 70 to help with care needs
Attendance Allowance provides financial support for those over the State Pension age with an illness or disability that they require help with.
It is not means-tested, so it isn’t based on your income – only your care needs.
In 2023/24 you’ll get the lower rate of £68.10 per week if you need help in the day or at night.
Or the higher rate of £101.75 per week if you need help both in the day and at night.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for Attendance Allowance you must be over the State Pension age.
And have an illness or disability that affects your day to day life, plus other criteria such as living in the UK.
It can be spent on products and services that improve your day-to-day life living with an illness or disability.
Some pensioners over 70 may find themselves as the full time carer for their partner.
If you’re providing care for someone (who also receives benefits) for 35+ hours a week, you might be entitled to Carer’s Allowance.
This counts as a type of income, so could affect Pension Credit and eligibility for low income schemes.
Find out more about it if you’re wondering ‘Can I claim carers allowance for myself?’
Benefits for pensioners over 70 who live in care homes
When you need care in later life, the best option for you may be to move into a care home.
You can continue to receive your State Pension and Pension Credit if you are eligible for it.
When it comes to Attendance Allowance, you’ll only be able to get it if you self fund the cost of care.
If you live in a care home and your care is paid for by your Local Authority, you’ll no longer get Attendance Allowance.
If you were receiving Housing Benefit, the local council needs to be aware of you moving to a care home.
Report a change
If you receive benefits and your circumstances change (i.e. moving to a care home), you must report a change in circumstances.
You may no longer be eligible for the benefit or you might fit the criteria to receive a different rate.
There are consequences if you don’t report a change in circumstances and continue to receive benefits you’re not entitled to.
So always report changes to avoid being taken to court or having to pay a fine.
Where else can you receive care and get benefits?
Another place you could receive support in later life is through care at home.
This is a popular option for people who want to stay living at home and do as much as they can independently.
There are less restrictions on benefits you can receive if you have care or home help in your house.
And you can get help with living costs, such as council tax reduction and the fuel payment (eligibility depending).
Key points to remember when accessing benefits
- Always research benefits before you apply for them to see if they will affect anything you currently get.
- Receiving benefits can count as an income and potentially change your financial status, or that of the person you care for.
- Always fill out benefits applications carefully and correctly, as mistakes or incorrect information could delay financial support.
- Report a change in circumstances if anything changes in your life or with your condition.
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