Pensioners have access to a number of financial assistance schemes, ranging from discounts for travel to funds to pay their fuel bills, housing programmes, and much more. There are also government Credits that will provide the pensioner extra money each month to help pay their bills or free items given to them to help improve their lifestyle.
All of the residents over the age of 60 is a rapidly growing part of the population, and these individuals now make up almost 20 percent of the population in the UK. While many pensioners do have a stable income, and it is sometimes higher than working families, they are still entitled to receiving financial help.
As an example of how this may work, one common need is for paying heating bills, as the cold weather can be difficult for a person over the age of 65. To meet this need, the government will provide up to £300 for individuals over the age of 65 from the Winter Fuel Payment scheme, and older people can also benefit from Cold Weather Payments.
More information on all of the financial help available for retirees is below. The extra funds can assist them during a hardship that they may face as they age. As once a person crosses over the age of 65 their chances of becoming sick, having a medical issue, or just needing other support increases.
Fuel payment assistance for pensioners
There are two programmes available. Up to £300 will be paid out to individuals over the age of 65 from the Winter Fuel payment. The exact amount will vary based on the seniors income, how many people live in the home, and other factors. There are also vouchers as well as schemes offered by energy suppliers for paying fuel bills, and find more ways to get help paying electric or gas bills.
The other option is the Cold Weather Payment, and this will provide up to £25 when the weather falls below 0ºC. Both of these fuel payments will be automatically paid out to the pensioner, but if there are questions or if the heating bill assistance is not paid out, contact a local council office as they go discuss schemes to help pay electric or gas bills, as pensioners have a number of ways to get financial aid.
Rent assistance for pensioners
Older people can still apply for Housing Benefits. This scheme will also assess the retirees capitol though (their total savings) before assessing whether any rent help will be provided. There is also an assessment of how much total income the applicant has, whether from a Pension Credit, their job, or any other source. So it is not just passed on the applicant income.
Housing Benefits will help pay the pensioners rent, but it will not take care of the entire cost. The government only pays a portion of what is due to the landlord. It also will not pay for any utilities, such as water costs, fuel or gas bills, food, garbage expenses, and more. Some while it can address housing needs, it will not in and of itself be a solution. Some costs, and the balance of the monthly rental costs, will need to be paid by the tenant, or they can seek other forms of help for rent payments.
Central government credits
The government also has multiple entitlements for pensioners. While it will not provide them enough money to live on and cover all of their bills, the extra funds can benefit them. This assistance is really for those retirees that are on a low income.
The main one for individuals on a low income is the Guarantee Credit. This will provide a little extra cash each month. The older person can use this money for any need they have. Whether it is to pay food, take a holiday, or pay for their rent, mortgages, or other bills this credit can make a difference. The government will provide at minimum £237.55 for couple or £155.60 for single pensioners.
Older people that have saved their own money are entitled to the government Savings Credit. This will provide them tax free money to help them carry on after they are no longer working. The amount of money will depend on the person’s income and how much money they have saved on their own. Both of these credit for pensioners will still be offered if the older person works, and the funds are tax free.
State Pension is only for individuals that have contributed money to the National Insurance scheme. The amount of money provided will be based on each person in the home. So a pensioner that is single can get £6,029 a year, but if they are married and both people have retired, the amount will be twice that.
But there are some criteria. The applicant needs to have contributed to the National Insurance programme for up to 10 years, and the amount of the State Pension can be less than above if they did not contribute as much money. So the amount of funds paid out will vary.
Free items for retirees
Pensioners have the ability to get several types of free or discounted items, including from charities including the Salvation Army. There is assistance for medical needs (prescriptions), transportation, TV, and many museums and public places offer free passes for seniors. This can help the older person relax or get to see the sights that now they have more time to visit. The free goods for pensioners are listed below.
-Free prescription drugs for old people. This is not only for a retiree, but any older person over the age of 60 can qualify.
-All people in the UK over the age of 75 can get a free TV license, which will save them as much as £200 per year.
-Bus passes are provided as well. The travel will be free during off peak hours, including weekends.
-Museums, parks, art gallery’s, and other public or private places have either discounted or free passes.
-Christmas meals and presents. Some volunteers will also deliver food to a senior, and read more free Christmas gifts.
Other financial aid or free items also be given for pensioners as well. It also always good to tell any organisation that you are older and/or have retired. Check with energy companies for assistance with paying electric bills, council offices for grants, and ask public places for a pass. There is no harm to ask! Or ring the Pension Credit Line at 0345 606 0265 for links to other support.