what benefits are available for elderly

Financial benefits for elderly: What are you entitled to? [2023]

8 min read |
Gemma Clay Sweet Pea Care Webinars

Author 16.03.2022

Gemma Clay

You may not be aware of all the financial benefits for elderly people that are available.

There are probably more than you think!

Many benefits are left unclaimed as people simply don’t know what they are entitled to. This particularly applies to the elderly, as the popular perception is that you have to live on your pension alone.

This article gives an overview of all the financial benefits for elderly people that you may be entitled to.

Here’s a summary of what we’ll cover in this article:

  • Up to £2.2 billion of pension credit and housing benefit goes unclaimed every year by seniors. 
  • The DWP will help assess your personal circumstances, such as illness or disability-related circumstances, and calculate what you are entitled to.
  • Benefits for caring for a partner or a loved one are more available than you might think.
  • Be aware of the difference in ages between yourself and your partner.
  • You may need to claim benefits as individuals if one partner is of pension age, and the other below.
explaining elderly benefits

A change in circumstances and financial benefits for elderly

Before we get into the details of financial benefits for elderly, it is important that we cover this point first. 

If anything in your circumstances change, always check how this might affect your eligibility for benefits. 

If you do not do this, you may unknowingly get a benefit that you are not entitled to.

Even if you didn’t know you were no longer entitled to it, you will still be obliged to pay it back.

Alternatively, and more commonly, you may have been ineligible for benefits in the past. 

A change – such as a dementia diagnosis in the family – might mean you now are eligible to claim some more benefits.

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Financial benefits for elderly couples 

Pension age benefits are generally paid at a higher rate than benefits for those of working age. 

Once you reach pension age, you will move to these higher rate benefits if you are eligible.

You will also receive things like winter fuel payment as part of your financial benefits for elderly package. 

If you receive benefits as a couple prior to reaching pension age, this will change when you get state pension.

You will not be entitled to pension age benefits for couples until you are both at the state pension age. 

What is the state pension age?

The state pension age is slowly changing.

In particular, it is rising for women until it reaches the age of 68 for both men and women.

If you and your partner are of different ages, it is best to look into this in advance. 

The partner claiming their state pension first may be entitled to benefits the other person isn’t.

This will change when both partners reach state pension age. 

financial benefits for elderly

Pension Credit 

If you are on a low income and are over state pension age, you may be entitled to pension credit.

You may also be entitled to some pension credit if you have savings toward your retirement. 

Many people do not know that they are eligible to claim any pension credit.

40% of eligible households do not claim it, so check if you are one of them.

Pension credit comes in two parts.

Guarantee credit

The first part, guarantee credit, helps people on low incomes by topping up the amount of state pension you receive.

It can top your income up to a maximum of £201.05 for single people. Couples can get up to £306.85. 

You must be of state pension age and live in the UK. Also, your weekly income must be less than the amounts above.

Your financial life will be assessed, including all of your income from jobs or pensions, and any savings of over £10000.

Benefits like housing benefit and attendance allowance are not included. Nor is the value of your home.

Savings credit

The second part, savings credit, is a type of bonus to supplement savings you have made for your retirement.

You can get up to £15.94  per week for a single person, £17.84 per couple.

what are the financial benefits for elderly

Council tax reduction as part of financial benefits for elderly

If you live alone, for instance, you may have been widowed, you are eligible for a 25% council tax discount. 

Also, if you receive benefits or are on a low income, you may also be entitled to an additional discount. 

A discount may also apply if your home has been adapted to make life easier for someone with a disability.

You may have adapted your home to be wheelchair friendly, for example. 

Your local authority will advise if you are entitled to a reduction on your council tax. Here’s more on local authority funding for care in your own home.

Council tax and dementia

Council tax is quite a large bill so what benefits can you claim if you have dementia?

If you or someone living in your home has dementia, you may be entitled to a 25% discount. 

The person living with dementia will have to be entitled to a disability benefit before they are eligible for a discount. 

If you live alone and also have dementia, you may apply for council tax exemption.

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Benefits for carers

As an unpaid carer you could be eligible for some carers benefits. 

Caring means helping someone with support or care needs to live their daily life.

You might do shopping, cook, or help wash and dress someone. 

Perhaps, you might help them pay their bills or deal with household administration. This all comes under the heading of care.

If your partner has dementia care, for example, you may well spend a lot of time looking after them.

It might feel as if you’re doing your duty for your loved one. However, you may still be eligible for some financial help. 

Carer’s allowance

  • Carers allowance is up to £76.75 per week, depending on what other benefits you are claiming.
  • You can claim this if you care for someone for 35 hours per week or more.
  • Your income must be below £139 per week (after expenses) and you must be a UK resident to claim.

If you receive state pension, however, you cannot claim Carer’s Allowance.

Instead, you may receive ‘underlying entitlement’.

This is where the allowance you would have got for carers allowance is allocated to another benefit. For example, a housing benefit. 

It is imperative that you apply for Carer’s Allowance – or an alternative – if you provide care for a loved one.

Even if you are not eligible, there may be other benefits you qualify for.

As a carer, it is important that you are financially supported in your role. 

Help with health costs as part of financial benefits for elderly

People aged over 60 are entitled to free prescriptions and eye tests.

You may need to show your proof of age at the pharmacy to qualify for this.

This is another excellent benefit for elderly people, given that prescription charges can quickly add up.

You may also be entitled to free dental treatment or glasses when claiming some benefits. 

These benefits include income support, income-related employment and support allowance, universal credit, and the guarantee credit part of pension credit. 

Depending on your entitlement, you may also claim back the cost of travel to and from hospital.

The NHS low-income scheme will help you work out what you are entitled to if you are on a low income. 

who qualifies for attendance allowance?

Attendance Allowance

If you need help with personal care thanks to illness or disability, it may entitle you to attendance allowance

You will not need to undergo means testing, but there are criteria to meet before being accepted for this benefit which could help with paying for home care

However, you must have had the illness or disability for six months before you receive a payment.

You can start your claim before this six-month period ends. However, the payments will only begin after six months.

This one of the financial benefits for elderly people that can really prove useful. 

Financial benefits for elderly and support with dementia

For issues such as dementia or arthritis, care can be an essential way of maintaining quality of life.

Having some financial support towards it can be very helpful.

You may claim attendance allowance even if you live in a residential care home.

If you have moved to the care home because you need support through your illness or disability, you could qualify. 

Your place in a care home must be self-funded to be permitted to apply.

You may also claim this benefit if you are diagnosed as terminally ill. You do not have to wait six months to claim in this case.

  • The Attendance Allowance comes at a lower rate of £68.10 and a higher rate of £101.75 per week.

You do not have to use it to pay for a carer. If there are other things you could spend it on to improve your life, you may. 

This benefit is not means-tested, so apply for it even if your income is too high for other benefits.

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Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA)

Constant Attendance Allowance is available to claim as one of the benefits for elderly people.

People rendered disabled or ill through circumstances such as military service or workplace accidents might be eligible for CAA. 

You must already receive a War Disablement Pension or an Industrial Injuries Disablement benefit.

Plus, you must also require constant care because of your illness or disability. 

However, you may not claim any additional disability benefit if you qualify for CAA. However, you may be eligible for other benefits such as housing benefits.

CAA is paid in four tiers, up to a maximum of £166.20 per week.

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Christmas Bonus (as part of financial benefits for elderly)

If you receive some benefits like attendance allowance, carers allowance and disability allowance, they might offer you a Christmas bonus. 

This is a £10 payment received in the first week of December. It is tax free and doesn’t affect any other benefit you receive.

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Gemma Clay Sweet Pea Care Webinars

Author 16.03.2022

Gemma Clay

Gemma is the Founder and CEO of Sweet Pea Care and has been advising families and care companies for the last decade through Arc Seven Communications.