Sunday, 3 February 2008

MILLIONS OF PENSIONERS ARE MISSING OUT ON STATE BENEFITS!

Age Concern says that £4.6 billion of state benefits remains unclaimed and this is contributing to pensioner poverty. Here’s a quick rundown of what you, or someone you know, may be missing out on.

Over 60 years
Winter fuel Payment

Your household will normally automatically receive £200 if you are aged 60-79 and £300 if you are aged 80 or over. Moredetail HERE.

Free or half price travel on public transport - contact your local council for details.

Free Eye Tests – more here

Free NHS prescriptions – more here

Over 60 years
Pension Credit

If you have an income under £119.05 (single person) or a joint income of £181.70 (couple) then this payment will make up the difference between the stated figures and your income. Check here

If your income is too high to qualify for Pension Credit, you may still qualify for help with Council Tax and/or rent if you have less than £16000 in savings.

Other Pension Credit related benefits -If you receive Pension Credit it qualifies you for free NHS dental care, reimbursement of the travel costs for going to hospital for treatment, vouchers towards the cost of spectacles, free fabric supports and wigs and a Cold Weather Payment of £8.50 per week if the average temperature falls below 0ºC for a week, which is paid automatically for those who qualify.

You may also qualify for the “Warm Front Scheme” (England) which provides between £2700 and £4000 for insulation and central heating (depending on your needs and your property). More here

Over 60 for women and 65 for men
(But this is slowly changing – check your predicted retirement age here)

State Pension
http://www.thepensionservice.gov.uk/
You need 30 “qualifying years”* to get a full pension – check this here
Changes brought about by The Pensions Act (26 July 2007) will affect you if you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2010.
*This a year in which you have paid enough National Insurance contributions (or qualified for them in some other way - e.g. by receiving a benefit of some kind, including Child Benefit).

Over 65 years
Savings Credit

This rewards you for having some savings. If your total weekly income (including income from savings, any investments and pension) is £167 or below (single person) or £245 or below (couple) then you can receive £19.05 (single person) or £25.26 (couple). More here

Over 65 years
Attendance Allowance

Between £43.15 and £64.50 a week.
For those with a mental or physical disability or a terminal illness who need help to dress and wash themselves. More here

Over 70 years
Free Home Insulation

As part of a Government scheme, British Gas will offer to install home insulation free of charge to anyone aged 70 or over, regardless of whether or not they're a British Gas customer. Contact your local council to enquire if they have any similar (or better) schemes. More here.

Over 75 years
Free TV licence
– more info here

Over 78 years
Free 10 year passport.
more info

For more general information go to the Age Concern website where you can download the More Money in Your Pocket booklet for free.

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