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There are many benefits and allowances that the elderly can legitimately claim but, unfortunately, many people are not aware of the financial help they are entitled to. It seems to be the case that you have to know to ask the question, rather than receiving the information automatically. We have listed many benefits & allowances here and hope to keep this area up-to-date with any changes in allowances available. Please contact us if you are aware of one that we've missed.

Boosting Your Retirement Income


If you are an elderly taxpayer on a low income and your taxable income falls below your personal allowance, you may be able to claim a repayment if:
· you have had tax deducted at source from your income (e.g. bank/building society interest etc), and
· part of your taxed income falls within the personal allowance available to you for the tax year.
You could also be entitled to the age allowance and higher married couples allowance, which increases your personal allowances.





Benefits for the elderly



You may be entitled to:
A retirement pension
You must have reached state pension age (men: 65, women: 60) and have paid enough NI contributions. A widowed person may be able to claim on the record of a spouse or deceased spouse. The pension consists of a basic amount and increases based on age, dependants, and spouse's contributions. Pension income is taxable in the UK.
Income support
You must be aged 60 or over. If you are residing in a care or nursing home, your savings cannot exceed £8,000. If you are not residing in a care or nursing home, your savings cannot exceed £16,000. Savings include: cash, bank accounts, national savings, premium bonds, shares, and land and property (not including main home).
Housing benefit
You must be occupy the dwelling as your home, be liable to pay rent, and be entitled to income support, the jobseeker's allowance, or have a low income.
Council tax benefit
You must be liable to pay council tax on property in which you are resident, have a low income, and not have savings exceeding £16,000.


For more information about any of these benefits, refer to the Benefits Agency Web site. Various leaflets covering elderly issues are also available from the DSS.

The Inland Revenue also have a number of publications available covering certain aspects of the tax regime and how it affects the elderly:
· Income Tax and Pensioners (Leaflet IR121): a leaflet that does not cover all the issues that a pensioner would want and those that are covered lack depth. The figures are out of date.

· A Guide for People with Savings (Leaflet IR110): a very important topic for the pensioner.

· Income Tax and Incapacity Benefit (Leaflet IR144): an out of date leaflet which still explains the principles.

The Warm Front Team is a Government funded scheme managed by Powergen Warm Front to help people in receipt of income or disability related benefits to improve the insulation and heating in their home.
If you own your home or privately rent, you could have a range of insulation and heating improvements installed in your home. If you are under 60, this could be up to the value of £1,500 or £2,500 if you are 60 or over.

ADDITIONAL STATE PENSION - Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be entitled to additional State Pension. As its name suggests, additional State Pension is paid in addition to the basic State Pension. More...

This benefit is for people who become disabled after the age of 65 years and there is no equivalent of the mobility component for older disabled people. It is paid at 2 rates and the claim process is the same as for DLA. Like DLA it does not matter how much income or savings the claimant has.
Getting AA will also help you to qualify for the Pension Credit (guarantee credit), Housing Benefit to help pay any rent you may have, and Council Tax Benefit (rate rebate in Northern Ireland). If someone is looking after a person who gets AA, they may also be able to get Carer's Allowance (CA) as their carer. It is usually best to get this checked out first, since an award of CA can, in some cases, lead to the disabled person losing some of their means-tested benefits, e.g. Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

BEREAVEMENT ALLOWANCE (formerly Widows Pension)
A new system of bereavement benefits for men and women was introduced in April 2001. The new system will not affect women who were already getting benefits under the previous scheme as long as they qualify under the rules.

You must spend at least 35 hours a week caring, which need not be every day, and the person you care for could be a relative, friend or neighbour CA can be paid to more than one person in a household, such as a couple caring for each other.

If you have reached the qualifying age you may get a Winter Fuel Payment to help pay for keeping warm in winter. For winter 2011/12 this can be between �100 and �300 depending on your situation. Find out if you are eligible for this payment and how to apply.

You may be entitled to a free tax disc if you're a disabled person who gets the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, War Pensioners Mobility Supplement or you have an invalid carriage.

Anyone aged 75 or over is now entitled to a free TV Licence for their principal residence, i.e. the place where they live most of the time.

Your local authority has general powers to improve living conditions in its area and may provide assistance in:-
Repair, improvement and adaption of housing
Demolition and rebuilding of living accommodation
Acquiring new living accommodation.

The Christmas Bonus is a tax-free payment paid, before Christmas, to customers who are getting one or more qualifying benefits.



Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for children and adults who need help with personal care or have walking difficulties because they are physically or mentally disabled. More...

Over 80 Pension is a non-contributory pension for people aged 80 or over with little or no State Pension. Aged 80 or over? If you are not getting a State Pension or you are getting less than a full State Pension because you have not paid enough National Insurance (NI) contributions and currently living in England, Scotland or Wales.

Click here to apply for heating & insulation grant


Category Click on the link Description



Pensions are a complicated subject that needs professional help to explain the options that are available at all stages of the pension process, or indeed, to help with the decision of whether pensions are the most appropriate retirement income planning tool at all. Buy-to-Let properties and ISA's, to give two examples, present other options available to retirement planning.




Provides information and services for everyone whether they are planning for retirement or about to retire.

Designed to be the first port of call for state pensions and private pension information on the web.

Provides whole of market advice on long term care, including paying care fees and immediate needs annuities.

Retirement Solutions




The Pensions Advisory Service (OPAS)




Information and guidance on the whole spectrum of pensions. They also help any member of the public who has a problem, complaint or dispute with their occupational or private pension arrangement.
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Many of the reasons for which individuals find the need for legal assistance are at best stressful and at worst distressing. From buying or selling a house, accident or injury claim, preparing a Will or arranging your affairs, you may need a solicitor that will handle your case quickly, efficiently and with understanding. The elderly need advice that shows that their needs, wishes and best interests are of paramount importance at all times. However, this is obviously best obtained at the lowest cost possible, in time as well as money.


The Citizens Advice Bureau


Provides up-to-date, independent advice, around the clock.

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