Benefits and entitlements for over 75s
24th June 2019
Getting older can mean slowing down and taking it easy, and in the UK, there are many benefits and entitlements available for over 75s to ensure you are taken care of.
From free prescriptions and eye tests to the winter fuel allowance, Handicare spoke to several bloggers to find out how some of these entitlements have benefitted their loved ones.
Available for those 65 and over, Attendance Allowance gives those with mental or physical disabilities allowance for care. This can include things like help getting dressed or using a stair lift, as well as help outside the home too.
Family blogger Erica from Nine to Three Thirty told Handicare 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.”
“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 Concern, so if people are struggling they should get in touch with their local branch for more advice.”
Free TV Licence
At present, over 75s can receive a free TV licence. With many older people suffering from loneliness in the UK, having a free TV licence has been a godsend to many older people who are not able to go out or see loved ones often due to circumstances or poor health.
But in recent news, 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 told Handicare 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 is concerned that this will be one of many other benefits that will eventually be stopped for over 75s, including 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.”
Can you help Age UK save free TV for older people? Sign our petition here.
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 to both her mum 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.”
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.
You are eligible to receive the Winter Fuel Payment if you are born on or before 5th April 1954, and you can receive anywhere from £100 to £300 for the duration of the winter season. Most older people will automatically receive the payment without the need to apply.
As well as benefiting from free prescriptions and eye tests, Jo’s parents also receive the Winter Fuel Payment every year.
“My parents both get the winter fuel payment which is £200 every December and 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.”
Free Prescriptions and Eye Tests
Once you turn 60, you can receive free prescriptions and eye tests which can help you save money - a big help for those who rely on daily medications.
As well as receiving Attendance Allowance, Erica’s terminally-ill mother also 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’s parents 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.”
These are just some of the entitlements and benefits for over 75s. For more information, visit the GOV.UK website to see what benefits you could be entitled to.
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.