The benefits that are relevant to you depend on your age and circumstances. Some are means tested, but many are not although they may depend on National Insurance Contributions for example State Pension.
The table below shows means tested benefits in RED, non-means tested benefits that are not dependent on National Insurance contributions in GREEN and non-means tested benefits that are dependent on National Insurance contributions in BLUE.
Attendance Allowance (AA) – 0800 731 0122
Attendance Allowance is a tax free, non means tested benefit for someone who suffers from an illness/disability and has care and/or supervision needs. To qualify you must be 65yrs or over old when applying and have had a need for at least 6 months and expect to have needs for at least another 6 months. There are special rules for people with a short life expectancy, when the qualifying period does not apply. Attendance Allowance may be awarded at one of two rates;
- 1) Higher rate £89.60– if the need is through the Day and Night
- 2) Lower rate £60.00 – if the need is through the Day or Night
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – 0800 121 4600
Disability Living Allowance has been replaced by Personal Independence payment for people aged between 16 and 64 yrs. There are no new claims for DLA, however someone who was already 65 years old on the 8th April 2013 and in receipt of DLA will continue to receive it (for the length of the award and providing they still meet the qualifying criteria) and it can be upgraded as needs change providing the qualifying period and criteria are met.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – 0800 917 2222
The Welfare Reform Act 2012 introduced Personal Independence Payment (PIP) as part of wider welfare reform. PIP is non means tested and non-taxable and replaced DLA for eligible claimants who were aged 16 to 64 from 8th April 2013. It has two parts; Daily Living Component and Mobility Component and can be upgraded as needs change, providing the qualifying period and criteria are met.
Carers Allowance – 0800 731 0297
A non means tested, taxable benefit payable for those who look after someone receiving a qualifying disability benefit such as Attendance Allowance/DLA Care component at the middle or high rate/ PIP daily living at either rate. You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person that you care for but will be aged 16 or over, spend at least 35 hours a week caring and not earn over £128 (net) per week after deductions. Carers Allowance may affect any means tested benefit that the disabled cared for person receives.
Pension Credit – 0800 99 12 34
Pension Credit is a means tested, non-taxable benefit for people over the qualifying age, which is in line with the Women’s State retirement age. It is one of the most under claimed benefits as entitlement may vary with a change in circumstances and new entitlement can be overlooked.
It has no savings/capital upper limit, although over £10’000 will be given an assumed income of £1 for every £500 or part of.
4 out of 10 older people have unclaimed benefits. Listen to our Podcast to find out why!
These are just a few of the many benefits left unclaimed:
- Funeral Payments
- Council Tax band reduction scheme/Council Tax exemption
- Employment Support Allowance
- Health Related Costs
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
If you are not sure whether you will qualify or would like some help to fill in a form please get in touch.