Annabel James, founder of Age Space and an expert on elderly care, is helping raise awareness of the financial support available for the elderly. With benefits and allowances increasing from 1st April, the start of the new financial year is the ideal time to spring clean finances and ensure elderly parents and relatives claim everything they are entitled to.
Age Space founder Annabel James comments: “Many older people don’t know about or are reluctant to claim all the allowances or benefits available to them. Looking into funding can be time-consuming and complicated, but it is worth being persistent. Every year billions of pounds of benefits go unclaimed, and this financial help could help make life easier and more enjoyable later.”
According to charity Turn2us, in 2019, 6.41 million people aged 65 or over needed help with daily activities, but only 2.98 million claimed attendance allowance or any other benefits helping them with their care needs. Its analysis of NHS figures shows 3.43 million could be missing out on money that is rightly theirs to claim.
Funding elderly care and later life can be complex, expensive, and unpredictable, particularly as needs change. Learn more about all the care funding options available with this simple guide from Age Space.
Here are some of the financial benefits seniors and carers can claim
Funding to help someone stay independent in their own home for longer. It is also possible to continue to receive it while living in a care home. This is available for people aged 65 and over with a physical or mental disability or an illness, which means extra help is needed. It’s not necessary to already have help to be eligible.
There are no restrictions on how the money should be spent. Attendance allowance, in particular, is a benefit many don’t know about. It’s not meant tested but based on individual need for everyday help to stay living independently at home.
There are two different rates, a lower rate – £68.10 (23/24) a week and a higher rate – £101.75 (23/24) a week if help is needed both in the day and at night or for a terminal illness). The Attendance Allowance is paid every four weeks and is usually paid straight into a bank account.
Carer’s Allowance is the main state benefit for people who spend 35+ hours every week providing care for someone. To qualify, the person they care for must receive some specific benefits. There is a limit to how much you can work/earn while receiving Carer’s Allowance, but the actual payment is not means tested (not based on your income).
Some benefits also enable you to claim other benefits; for example, a carer spending more than 35 hours a week caring for someone receiving an Attendance allowance is eligible for Carer’s Allowance.
The Carer’s Allowance is taxable and can affect other benefits you may currently receive. If there are multiple carers for the individual, only one of the carers is entitled to receive Carer’s Allowance.
Constant attendance allowance
Available for those with a disability receiving industrial injuries, disablement benefits or a war disablement benefit.
Disability living allowance (DLA)or Personal Independent Payments (PIPs)
Help with a long-term condition or mental health condition. You can’t receive both DLA/PIP and Attendance Allowance.
Top-up is available to anyone of pension age on a low income: it can also open access to other benefits.
A National Insurance credit for anyone caring over 20 hours a week to help with gaps in NI payments.
Free tv license
Once you or someone you live with are over 74, you can apply for a free TV Licence for your household.
Free NHS, dental treatment, and glasses
Free prescriptions for all over the 60s, and depending on your circumstances, help is available in other areas.
The warm home discount scheme, cold weather payments and winter fuel payments
One-off payments to help with the cost of energy during the winter for those with a pension.
Council tax discount
It is available dependent on which benefits you receive, your age, income, savings, who you live with and how much Council Tax you pay. Carers who look after someone in the household for at least 35 hours a week and who meet additional criteria may be disregarded for Council Tax purposes.