The best benefits for over 60s in the UK
25th January 2023
Moving into retirement and away from a full-time salary, many people will be on the lookout for ways to save/keep on top of their finances. In the UK, there are a number of fantastic benefits for over 60s, helping those in older age save money and pay for the things they need. From help with energy bills to support for a disability, the over-60s benefits are a big help. In this guide, you can discover what benefits are available for over 60s and UK pensioners, helping you get whatever support will make your life easier.
What benefits do over 60s get in the UK?
UK pensioner benefits
At the age of 66, those in the UK are eligible to start claiming a state pension. A state pension is one of the best benefits for over 60s, providing a regular income of money to help sustain them during their retirement.
The amount of money that you are entitled to depends on how many years of National Insurance payments you have accrued.
Financial help for pensioners also comes in the form of Pension Credit. This gives those on low-income extra money to help with living costs if they are over the state pension age.
It is also possible to get extra help if you are a carer, severely disabled, or responsible for a child or young person.
Every employer in the UK has to enrol their employees in a pension scheme, so this is yet another source of income that you can receive once retired.
Both you and your employer pay into the scheme, and it is entirely separate from the state pension.
Benefits for energy bills
As we get older, we might need the heating on a little more, but this can incur huge costs that you just might not be able to afford. The good news is that there is help available and benefits for over 60s to help make the costs a little lighter.
Winter Fuel Payment
Every year in the UK, 9,700 people die due to having a cold home, so the Winter Fuel Payment is just one of the many ways in which the UK is looking to ensure older people can afford their heating during the colder months.
This is one of the best government benefits for over 60-year-olds, as those who are born on or before 26th September 1956 can receive anywhere from £250 to £600 for the duration of the winter season. Most older people will automatically receive the payment without the need to apply.
Jo from Tea and Cake for the Soul, says that her parents receive the Winter Fuel Payment every year: “My parents both get the winter fuel payment every December and it is paid automatically straight into their bank account. This allows them to have the heating on for additional hours during the winter without worrying about the cost.”
Cold Weather Payment
If you are receiving certain benefits or support for mortgage interest, you may be able to get a cold weather payment from the government. If the temperature in your local area is zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days, you can receive £25 for each seven-day period, between 1 November and 31 March.
Warm Home Discount scheme
For those on a low income or who receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, you may be entitled to the Warm Home Discount scheme. This scheme provides £150 off electricity bills during winter and is automatically deducted from your bill.
Benefits for disabled people and carers
There are a number of over 60s benefits for those with disabilities and help for those who care for older people. Read on to discover what benefits are available for over 60s with disabilities.
Anyone who is physically or mentally disabled and over the age of 65 is entitled to £61.85 or £93.40 a week to help pay for personal care, courtesy of the government’s Attendance Allowance. If you are receiving government benefits they could increase if you get the Attendance Allowance so be sure to check a benefits calculator to ensure you are receiving the right entitlement.
Available for those 65 and over, Attendance Allowance gives those with mental or physical disabilities an allowance for care. This can include things like help getting dressed or using stairlifts, as well as help outside the home too.
Family blogger Erica from Nine to Three Thirty has shared how Attendance Allowance was able to make life easier for her terminally ill mother.
“My mother applied for Attendance Allowance when she was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. Because she had a terminal disease, the application process was simplified, and it was a really quick process.
“It's a great benefit because it's not means-tested but is based on the need of the individual. Getting extra money each week meant that she could pay for little things to help make things easier for her, like getting a taxi rather than the bus or employing a cleaner to help with the domestic stuff. It was a real help.”
Jane from Shoestring Cottage has spoken about her relatives who have also benefitted from Attendance Allowance:
“They have gone from not being able to manage well financially to being able to afford a few extras. They can use the extra allowance for a bit of gardening as well as help with everyday tasks and getting around, such as being able to get taxis to the hospital.
“Knowing that they can pay for extra help should they need it is very reassuring. They found out about Attendance Allowance through Age UK, so if people are struggling, they should get in touch with their local branch for more advice.”
Disabled facilities grant
As we get older, stairlifts and other such aids may become a necessity in order to stay independent and mobile in our own homes. While there are many good value stairlifts on offer these days from reputable providers, if you are on a low income or pension, the cost may be too much to pay upfront. Thankfully there are grants that can help with the cost of such aids.
The Disabled Facilities Grant from the government is one of the best UK benefits for over 60s, helping with costs if you are disabled and need to make changes to your home. These changes can be things like widening doorways, installing ramps, improving access to rooms and facilities with stairlifts, or adapting heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use.
Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
Over 60s who live with a long-term physical or mental condition and have difficulty doing everyday tasks or find it hard getting around, can receive help from the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). PIP can help with extra living costs.
For over 60s who suffer from limited mobility, the component of PIP that helps those with poor mobility might be particularly useful.
Carer’s Allowance looks to compensate carers that care for someone 35+ hours per week. The person cared for must be already receiving another benefit from this list and the carer also has some eligibility factors to consider, such as whether they are already receiving a pension.
Jo, from Tea and Cake for the Soul, spoke about how Carer’s Allowance was able to make a difference in both her mum’s and grandmother’s lives.
“My nan lived with my parents in her final years to avoid going into a home and my mum was able to apply for Carer’s Allowance. It was quite a lengthy process and was means-tested. As my mum was getting a small pension she received a smaller allowance, but having a little extra money meant they were able to get some additional things in the home.”
Free TV licence
If you are looking into what over 60s benefits there are, a free TV licence might sound appealing. If you are over 75 years old, you can receive a free TV licence as long as you or someone you live with receives Pension Credit.
It used to be the case that all over 75s received a free TV licence, but in recent years, the BBC has decided to axe free TV licencing for all over 75s and means-test the licencing instead. Understandably, this has been met with disappointment and upset from many.
Blogger Hayley from Miss Manypennies, has shared how disappointed her grandparents were when they found out that their TV licence would no longer be free:
“My grandparents are quite upset about losing their free TV licence. They’ve always avoided claiming benefits and are quite frugal; the TV licence fee is actually quite expensive, so having it free has been a real blessing for a 90 and 83-year-old who struggle to get out and about so much now.”
Blogger Sam from Pretty Core shares how this change affects her grandparents: “My grandparents are the lucky few that have personal pensions. However, many are not so lucky. A TV licence is a lot of money for those living off state pensions and the TV licence just adds more bills on top. I'm close to my grandparents - they brought me up. They are both 80 this year and I worry that the little things that help them are going to stop.”
Free eye tests and prescriptions
If you have been wondering, “what do you get for free at 60 in the UK”, a great benefit for over 60s comes in the shape of free eye tests and free prescriptions. Once you turn 60, you can receive free prescriptions and eye tests - a big help for those who rely on daily medications.
Erica, from Nine to Three Thirty, has a terminally-ill mother who benefited from free prescriptions – a big help during her diagnosis:
“It was great that she received free prescriptions, as the doctors kept prescribing different things to try to tackle some of the more distressing symptoms she was enduring. It was a trial-and-error process to find out which treatment worked for her, which would have gotten expensive if she'd had to pay.”
Jo, from Tea and Cake for the Soul, has parents who also received free prescriptions, which was great for ensuring they could take their required medications and have eye check-ups without it costing a penny:
“My parents are both in their late 70s and receive free prescriptions and free eye tests. The free prescriptions are very welcome because, although they are relatively healthy for their age, the number of medications they take increases every year and would take up a sizable chunk of their pension if they had to pay for them each month.”
When you reach state pension age, you can apply for a bus pass for free travel. Over 60s who live in London can travel for free on buses, the underground, and other transport, and over 60s in Wales can apply for a bus pass.
There are also senior rail cards available for over 60s, so anyone who is 60 and above can receive 1/3 off train travel and an average annual saving of £76.
Military pension benefits
For over 60s who have served in the military, there are benefits for them and their spouse. These benefits include:
- War Widow/Widower’s Pension – If your wife, husband, or civil partner died during military service, you may be entitled to a pension.
- War Disablement Pension – If you were injured or disabled during your time in the Armed forces, you may be entitled to a War Disablement Pension.
READ ALSO: How to manage your money in older age
Other schemes, benefits, grants and resources
Apart from government benefits for over 60-year-olds and UK pension benefits, there is a selection of other grants and schemes on offer for older people to help with costs and daily life.
Turn2us is the national charity that helps people in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services. They have a whole range of information on support and services for older people from their own benefits calculator to their own grants search function.
Royal Voluntary Service
Another way of receiving a bit of extra help at home is through the Royal Voluntary Service initiative. Proving valuable company and friendship as well as making sure that the older person is safe and well the Royal Voluntary Service helps those whose family is too far away to check in on them regularly and provides light assistance and company to those who need it.
Cheap Energy Club
Another way of saving money on your energy bills is to make sure that you are with the right provider. Money comparison sites can help no end in this area and Money Saving Expert’s Cheap Energy Club is a great initiative that continually looks to save you money. They work by doing a full market comparison to find you the best price and, unlike other money comparison sites, by signing up to the energy club they will constantly monitor your tariff and alert you when it is time to switch based on your current details to get you the best price.
READ ALSO: The best discounts for over 60s in the UK
There are lots of benefits, schemes, and help available for over 60s, across all aspects of life, from energy and disabilities to travel and health. Hopefully, the benefits detailed in this article help you find support.
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This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.