State Pension age benefits
Find out what benefits you may qualify for if you're of State Pension age
Changes to couples' benefits
If you have a partner, you may have a different State Pension age to them. If this sounds like you, then take professional advice on what the best benefits are for you. Rules around couples where there's an age gap changed on 15 May 2019, so the information here may not be relevant to you.
If you are state pension age and your partner isn’t, or vice versa, you are classed as a mixed-aged couple. There are some specific rules around claiming your state pension for mixed-aged couples, so make sure you speak to a professional.
If you're of State Pension age there are some benefits you may qualify for, but not be aware of:
There are two types of Pension Credit:
1. Guaranteed Pension Credit
Guaranteed Pension Credit tops-up your income to £201.05 for a single person or £306.85 for a couple.
It's an income-based benefit, so to be eligible to claim you need to have a low income. But there are other circumstances where this can be increased, so its wise to check.
Receiving Guaranteed Pension Credit could have a big impact on your finances because by qualifying for it you will also be entitled to:
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax reduction
- Warm Home Discount
- A free TV licence if you're aged 75 or over
- Help with NHS dental treatment, glasses and transport costs for hospital appointments
So, even if you only qualify for a small Guaranteed Pension Credit it can both reduce your out-goings and give you more disposable income.
2. Savings Pension Credit
If you were of State Pension age before 6 April 2016 and have savings or a private pension, then you could qualify for this benefit.
If you qualify, you may be eligible for up to £15.94 for a single person or £17.84 for a couple, every week.
Universal Credit is a welfare benefit paid to working-age claimants in the UK who have a low income, this includes Mixed Age Couples. It pulls together some other benefits into one monthly payment (or two monthly payments in Scotland).
If you are a mixed-age couple please seek professional guidance about personal circumstances before you apply because you could end up worse off. But also remember that Universal Credit can rarely be backdated so seek help immediately.
Discretionary Housing Payment
Discretionary Housing Payment is an additional payment towards rent, available directly from the Local Authority (council). Each Local Authority has different rules but generally if you are under-occupying you may be eligible to apply. These payments are temporary (awards are usually from 3 – 18 months) to support the top-up of rent charges.
If you are a mixed-age couple and receive a reduced rate of Housing Benefit or Housing Element of Universal Credit, then this could benefit you.
Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Disabled people are able to apply for one of these benefits. If you have a disabled child (under 16 years old) you can claim DLA, or for 16 years to State Pension age, you can apply for PIP. This is available for people who have a physical disability, mental health illness or learning disability.
We recommend getting some support to apply for DLA/PIP from either your Social Worker, CPN or a local support agency.
However, you should ask for a form immediately if you are not already claiming. Your claim can be backdated to the date of this request if you return it within the time period.
Ask for a form by calling 0800 917 2222
You can claim this on top of other benefits or without claiming benefits at all because it is not means tested. However, it is only available to working-age people. Pension age people should check Attendance Allowance.
It's not income-based, so if you have care needs you may be entitled regardless of your income.
To find out more visit:
Unlike other disability benefits, there is no mobility component in Attendance Allowance. So, if you receive Personal Independence Payments (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claiming Attendance Allowance will stop your PIP/DLA. So, please take professional advice before considering this.
To find out what you might be entitled to:
- use our free benefit calculator
- call 0345 141 4663 and ask to speak with our Financial Inclusion team
Carers who look after a disabled person (friend or family member) are able to apply for Carer’s Allowance, if all of the below apply:
- You care for someone 35 hours per week or more
- The person you care for is receiving a certain level of disability benefit
- You are over 16 years
- You are not in full-time education
- You do not earn over £123 per week (after deductions)
You can claim Attendance Allowance for yourself and Carer’s Allowance for another person. But if you claim Attendance Allowance for yourself, you can't claim someone else's Carer’s Allowance for caring for you.
Council Tax Support / Council Tax Reduction
This is not part of your Universal Credit payment and will need to be claimed separately and directly from the Local Authority (Council). Applications need to be submitted quickly because most Local Authorities will only backdate for one month in exceptional circumstances.
Local Authorities are also able to give a reduction to a single people living in a property alone, this is called the single-person discount.
If you are claiming Pension Credits; or have someone living with you who is claiming Pension Credits, you may be entitled to the maximum reduction of Council Tax.
If you or someone living with you is a carer or if you have dementia, you may be entitled to some additional reductions in your Council Tax.
Because the Local Authority manage the council tax support and reduction schemes, different Local Authorities have different Policies so it’s worth checking your eligibility.
Warm Home Discount
The Warm Home Discount gives you a grant of £150 paid directly to your fuel provider to help you to cope with the additional energy over the winter. You need to meet specific criteria but applying is relatively straight forward via your energy supplier.
Your supplier will be able to tell you when their applications open, each provider is different. And you may be able to sign up for an email reminder on your supplier’s website. Some companies only give six days to apply, whereas others give much longer.
Those claiming Guaranteed Pension Credit should receive this automatically, as long as your supplier is signed up to the Warm Home Discount Scheme. But if you have just applied for or received Pension Credits during or after August 23 2023, then check that your supplier is aware so you do not miss out.
These payments do not impact your other benefits.
Find out more about the Warm Home Discount.
Winter Fuel Payment
The Winter Fuel payment is available to people born before 25th Sept 1957 (correct as of October 20223 and is between £250 and £600.
These payments do not impact your other benefits. You should receive a letter to let you know about this payment, which will be made into the same bank account as your State Pension.
Find out more about the Winter Fuel Payment.
Cold Weather Payments
The Cold Weather Payments are made to people on means-tested benefits in certain circumstances such as Pension Credit, Universal Credit.
If you meet the criteria, in England, you will be automatically paid £25 for every 7 days that the weather has been extremely cold in your area, between November and March each year.
These payments do not impact your other benefits and they are automatic, usually paid 14 days after each week of cold weather. If you do not receive a Cold Weather Payment:
Check if the weather has been cold enough where you live
Challenge the decision using the Government's Cold Weather Payment guidance.
If you meet the criteria, in Scotland, you will receive a Winter Heating Payment of £50 instead, regardless of the conditions in your area.
Gas, electricity and fuel
With the exception of the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payment or Winter Heating Payment in Scotland and the Cold Weather Payments, there are no benefits that can be claimed for fuel.
However, you can look to reduce your bill with these energy saving tips.
Usually, we’d recommend a price comparison of your usage, using a comparison website such as U-Switch or Compare the Market but at the moment there are no cheaper deals due to the Energy Price Cap. Instead, our Financial Inclusion Team can refer you to:
England – Connect For Help
Scotland – Home Energy Scotland
Using a pre-payment meter can help some customers to budget better.
If you are in arrears, some companies provide grants to support you to get back on track with fuel payments. If you are struggling with energy debt, get in touch with our financial support team who can help.
Support with children
If you have children under 18 or 25 (with a learning disability) who are living with you, please call us on 0345 141 4663 so we can advise you.
Households on low incomes can speak to their water provider to ask if their rates can be reduced because of their low income. If you need water for Health reasons, you may also be entitled to a reduction and you should also be on the Priority Services Register with your Water Company.
Give your water company a call. You may be able to save up to 50% on your water bill. Or the Financial Inclusion Team can help with this too.
How to speak with our financial inclusion team
Call us on 0345 141 4663 and ask to be referred to our financial inclusion team.
Or speak with your support worker or housing manager.
Am I entitled to Pension Credits or Attendance Allowance?
I live in Scotland, what benefits do I qualify for?
Can I claim Attendance Allowance if I already get PIP?
How do I make a claim?
Will my claim be backdated?
Attendance Allowance will only be backdated to the date you made the claim.
Pension Credit can be backdated to the start of eligibility for the benefit. If you claim by phone, your advisor will be able to tell you when it's backdated to.
I have savings, can I still claim Pension Credit?
Yes, if you have savings of less than £10,000.
If your savings are between £10,000 and £16,000 then you may still be eligible, so make a claim and give it a go.
Do I need to apply for any other benefits?
It's important to know which benefits are automatically applied and which you should claim for:
Housing Benefit and Council Tax reductions
You will need to claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax reductions. And, if you receive these benefits make sure you let them know if you have a Pension Credit award and how much you get.
Warm Home Discount
Warm Home Discount should be applied to your account automatically, but it depends when information is shared with them by the government.
It’s best to contact your supplier to let them know you get Pension Credit and tell them you would like to receive the Warm Home Discount.
Not all suppliers take part in the Warm Home Discount scheme. Check your supplier's website to see if they take part.
We've got lots more advice about keeping warm on our Get Winter ready pages.
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