What benefits are available for disabled or older people?
There are a range of benefits available for disabled or older people, including Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Winter Fuel Payment and more.
So please make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to!
Here are some of the benefits you may be entitled to:
- Attendance Allowance
- Benefits for carers
- Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA)
- Council tax reduction
- Help with health costs
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)State Pension
- Travel: Blue Badge and bus passes
- TV licence
- War Widow(er) Pension
- Winter Fuel Payment
- Benefits calculator
- How to Appeal against a Benefits Decision
Attendance Allowance is worth up to £89.15 a week from April 2020.
Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit for people aged 65 or over who need someone to help look after them because they are physically disabled or mentally disabled.
You may get Attendance Allowance if:
- you have a physical disability (including sensory disability, such as blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both
- your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or someone to supervise you, for your own or someone else’s safety
- you are aged 65 or over when you claim
Normally, you must have had these care or supervision needs for at least six months. However, if you are terminally ill, there are special rules for claiming the benefit.
If you are under age 65, you may be able to get Disability Living Allowance.
Attendance Allowance is not usually affected by any savings or income you may have.
Benefits for carers
As a carer It’s advantageous to know what benefits you and the person you care for are entitled to.
You might be able to get a break from caring, or get help with pay for certain costs, or make a difference to your pension entitlements in the future.
There are three main types of benefits:
- benefits if you’re not in paid employment – “earnings replacement benefits”
- benefits that help pay for extra costs, such as those relating to disability or having a child
- benefits and tax credits that top up low income if you’re in work – “means-tested benefits”
Carer’s Allowance, an earnings replacement benefit, is the main benefit for carers. You may be eligible if you are looking after someone for 35 hours a week or more.
The rate of the Carer’s Allowance for 2020-21 is: £67.25 a week with a £10 Christmas bonus in December.
You may be eligible for Carer’s Credit and Universal Credit: If you’re unable to work because of caring responsibilities, and therefore can’t make National Insurance payments, Carer’s Credit helps build your entitlement to the basic State Pension by making sure there are no gaps in your National Insurance record.
Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA)
CAA is an entitlement for people who need constant care through an injury or disease.
If the person your looking after is awarded CAA, you may be entitled to Carers Allowance if you meet the eligibility criteria.
There are four different rates of CAA. The rate you receive is determined by the extent of your disability and how much care you need.
The rates for CAA for 2020/21 are: £36.40-£145.60 a week depending on the extent of disability and the amount of care you need
Council Tax Reduction
If you are disabled or have a disabled person living with you there may be entitlement to a reduction in Council Tax. Council Tax helps pay for local services like policing and refuse collection.
You could be eligible if you’re on a low income or claim benefits.
Your bill could be reduced by up to 100%.
You can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working.
What you get depends on:
- where you live – each council runs its own scheme
- your circumstances (e.g. income, number of children, benefits, residency status)
- your household income – this includes savings, pensions and your partner’s income
- if your children live with you
- if other adults live with you
Help with health costs
The NHS Low Income Scheme is available if you have a low income.
The NHS Low Income Scheme could help you pay for:
- NHS prescription charges
- NHS dental treatment charges
- the cost of sight tests, glasses and contact lenses
- the cost of travelling to receive NHS treatment
- NHS wigs and fabric supports (check with your hospital for their arrangements for supplying NHS wigs)
The amount of help you’re entitled to depends on your household income and outgoings. Any help you’re entitled to is also available to your partner, if you have one.
If you have already paid for treatment, you can apply for a refund at the same time as you apply for the scheme.
If you’re on a low income, whether working or not, Housing Benefit gives financial help to pay your rent.
Housing Benefit is being replaced by Universal Credit, however some people who are unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits may still be able to apply for Housing Benefit.
You can make a new claim for Housing Benefit if any of the following apply:
- you’re getting the severe disability premium, or are entitled to it
- you got or were entitled to the severe disability premium within the last month and are still eligible for it
- you have reached State Pension age
- you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing
Pension Credit is an income-related benefit made up of 2 parts – Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. Guarantee Credit is for those who have reached the minimum qualifying age. Savings Credit is for those aged 65 or over. Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit that tops up your basic state pension if you have a low income.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people with a long-term health condition or impairment, whether physical, sensory, mental, cognitive, intellectual, or any combination of these. It is paid to make a contribution to the extra costs that disabled people may face, to help them lead full, active and independent lives
Personal Independence Payment:
- will help you meet the extra costs of being disabled
- is based on how your condition affects you, not the condition you have
- is for people who are aged 16 or over and are under State Pension age – to check your State Pension age visit this website www.gov.uk/check-state-pension
You can get Personal Independence Payment if you have a job or if you do not have a job.
Personal Independence Payment is not taxed.
It does not matter how much money you have saved or how much money you have coming into your home every week.
Personal Independence Payment has 2 parts. A daily living part and a mobility needs part. And each part has 2 different rates, a standard rate and a higher rate for people with the greatest needs.
Blue Badge Scheme
Popular examples of help with travel include free bus passes and the Blue Badge scheme, which provides parking concessions for older people and people with disabilities.
Having a Blue Badge enables disabled people with severe walking difficulties park near to their destinations and use reserved bays in public car parks. It is a national arrangement giving parking concessions in the UK.
The Scheme also applies to registered blind people and people with severe upper limb disabilities who regularly drive a vehicle but cannot turn a steering wheel by hand. Local Authorities issue the Badges and you can apply online.
If you’re aged 75 or over, or your household includes someone over 75, you’re entitled to a free TV licence.
- If you are 75 years old or older you are eligible to apply for a free Over 75 TV Licence. Call 0300 790 6112 with your National Insurance number to hand or visit tvlicensing.co.uk/over75info
- if you are 74 years old you can apply for a short-term TV Licence to cover you until your 75th birthday.
Call 0300 790 6112 to find out more.
- if you are Blind and can provide the appropriate evidence you are eligible to apply for a 50% blind concession on your TV Licence.
War Widow(er) Pension Scheme
You may be entitled to War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension if your wife, husband or civil partner died as a result of their service in Her Majesty’s (HM) Armed Forces or during a time of war.
They must have served before 6 April 2005, but you may be eligible if they died of an illness or injury later.
Winter Fuel Payment
You could get between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 November 1954.
Most payments are made automatically between November and December. You should get your money by Christmas.
You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).
How to appeal against a benefits decision
If you think a decision about your benefits is wrong, you can ask the office that made the decision to explain it. You can also ask to get the decision reconsidered and, if you’re still unhappy, you can appeal against the decision to an independent tribunal.
You can appeal a decision about your entitlement to benefits, for example Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit.