Benefits Advisor with Shaun Clayton… 

Over the past few months we seem to have had a number of phone calls to the office from PHA members over 65 asking advice about what support is available for them.

When someone is within working age there is a whole range of potential benefits; personal independence payments (PIP), employment and support allowance (ESA) and so on. But it can be a bit of a shock when you get to retirement age and find you no longer qualify for these working age schemes. Some people may also find themselves involved in a transitional period with their established support through disability living allowance (DLA) at this age. A lot of people don’t realise the DLA benefit generally only relates to people of working age.

What happens when you go past 65? 

Whatever situation you find yourself in, there is a support avenue for you to go down. There is a benefit called ‘Attendance allowance’ and to claim this you must be over 65, not currently receiving DLA or PIP and have been living in Great Britain for at least two out of the past three years.

Attendance allowance, like most benefits nowadays, comes with a higher and lower component based on the functionality of the person applying.

Unfortunately though, unlike DLA and now PIP there is no ‘mobility’ side to attendance allowance, unless you were already receiving it from a prior application, then it will simply roll over.

Pension credits may also be available to you – these top-ups are income-related and aim to support people who, through their health and disability, may not have been able to contribute into an employment-based pension.

If you want to know more about pension credits in particular – and other support for post-65 – I would heavily suggest that you contact Turn 2 Us. If you are looking for help navigate the rough welfare waters, they are an excellent new source of help for PHA UK members. They have both a telephone helpline and online help that will do a tailor made search for anyone looking to know more about what is available to them, both in benefit support and available grants. Please see their feature on pages 14-15.

And as always, if you want any more information about benefits please do contact the office and request a copy of our ‘Signposting for Potential benefits’.