Some benefits for people of State Pension age aren’t means-tested. This means you can apply for financial help no matter how much you have in income or savings.

 

Many people don’t think of their State Pension as a ‘benefit’, but it is actually classed as a work replacement benefit. The amount you can receive depends on how many years of National Insurance Contributions or Credits you have.

It’s not paid automatically; you need to apply for your State Pension once you reach State Pension age. You can find out your State Pension age on the Government website.

The amount you’ll be paid will also depend on when you reach State Pension age:

  • The Old State Pension is available to men who were born before 6 April 1951 and women born before 6 April 1953. It pays up to £134.25 a week for those with 30 years of National Insurance.
  • The New State Pension is available to men who were born on or after 6 April 1951 and women born on or after 6 April 1953. It pays up to £175.20 per week for those with 35 years of National Insurance.

Attendance Allowance can help with extra costs if you have a disability or health condition that means you need someone to help look after you. And you don’t need to be receiving this help to apply.

Attendance allowance rates:

  • Lower rate: £59.70 per week
  • Higher rate: £89.15 per week

You'll qualify for the lower rate if you need support day or night. The higher rate is there to help if you need support day and night.

Attendance allowance eligibility

  • If you’ve reached State Pension age;
  • you have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example 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 have needed that help for at least 6 months (unless you’re terminally ill).

Find out how to apply

Attendance Allowance and care homes

If you’re staying in a care home and paying for it yourself, you’ll be able to claim Attendance Allowance to help with the costs.

If some or all of your care is being paid for by the local authority, then you’re unlikely to be able to claim Attendance Allowance, unless you’re going to repay their costs later on. This is usually done through a Deferred Payments Agreement.

If you have a terminal illness

If you have less than six months to live you can have your application for PIP fast-tracked. This means you will not have to go through a face to face assessment and will be awarded the enhanced rate of the daily living component. To apply, contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for further information.

Find out more about paying for care

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit to help with some of the extra costs if you have a long-term disability or ill-health and you’re still of working age.

PIP isn’t means-tested, and it has two parts:

  • Daily Living Component – If you need help more than half of the time with things like preparing or eating food, dressing and undressing, engaging with other people, reading and communicating, making decisions about money or washing and using the toilet.
  • Mobility – If you need help going out or moving around.

For each part of PIP, you can have different levels of need. An independent healthcare professional will meet with you to work out how much help you need, and this decides how much you get paid. You could be able to claim one or both parts.

 
  Standard rate Enhanced rate
Daily living £59.70 a week £89.15 a week
Mobility £23.60 a week £62.25 a week

If you have a terminal illness

If you have less than six months to live you can have your application for PIP fast-tracked. This means you will not have to go through a face to face assessment and will be awarded the enhanced rate of the daily living component. To apply, contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for further information.

Disability Living Allowance

Personal Independence Payment has now replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA). If you have an existing DLA claim, you’ll carry on receiving DLA until your claim ends. After that, you’ll be invited to apply for PIP instead.

Find out how to apply

Some benefits and financial support are available whatever your financial situation if you’re eligible:

 
Benefit Type Country Eligbility How to apply
Winter Fuel Payment (£100 to £300 a year) Financial UK-wide Be of State Pension age Automatically paid
Free NHS Prescriptions Health UK-wide Free at any time Through your GP
Free Dental check-ups Health Wales Be over 60 Take proof of age to appointment
Free Bus Travel Transport England & Wales Be over 60 Your local council
National Entitlement Card Transport Scotland Be over 60 Your local council
60+ Smart Card Transport Northern Ireland Be over 60 Your local council
Blue Parking Badge Transport UK-Wide Have a disability and have difficulty walking Your local council
Free Eye Tests Health UK-Wide Be over 60 Take proof of age to appointment

Many shops, attractions and leisure facilities also offer discounted ‘senior’ rates for people over 60 or 65. You can also buy a Senior Railcard for £30 a year, which gives you 1/3 off rail fares. National Express also offer a Senior Coachcard, costing £12.50 a year plus £2.50 postage, which gives you 1/3 off coach travel.

Need help?

Understand your options

Knowing your options before you need them can help you get the right care at the right time.

Find local help to you

Whether you need some help at home, or want to find out more about Care Homes in your area, our Finding Care tool can help.

Care Costs Calculator

If you want to find out how your care might be paid for, use our Care Costs Calculator.