In this episode of the Age Space Podcast, Jason Butler, our resident money expert, talks to Annabel James (Age Space founder) about some of the state benefits that you or the person you care for might be entitled to. Jason and Annabel discuss attendance allowance, carers allowance and council tax reductions, as well as where you can find advice on benefits that you might be able to claim. Listen to the podcast here, and find a quick overview of what Jason and Annabel discussed below.
Jason explains pension credit
Pension credit is an amount that the government gives to “top up” the weekly income of people above the state pension age. It is a means tested benefit, which means to get it you have to meet a certain set of criteria. You can find out more, check if your elderly relative is eligible, and apply for pension credit on the government website.
Jason's advice on Attendance Allowance
One of the most common benefits that people may be missing out on, Jason explains, is Attendance Allowance. Attendance allowance gives people with long term (+6months) or terminal illness a little extra money. It is not means tested but is only available to those over the age of 65. It can make all the difference to some people, but unfortunately a lot of people don’t realise that they’re eligible. Read our guide to Attendance Allowance to find out more.
What about the carer? Carer's Allowance
One added benefit to an elderly relative receiving an Attendance Allowance is that it may also help you, as a carer, to claim Carer’s Allowance. To be eligible for a Carers Allowance you must meet a certain set of criteria that includes caring for someone for at least 35 hours per week. However, as Jason says, when you factor in cooking, cleaning, shopping, driving someone to places, the hours can stack up quite quickly! A Carer’s Allowance is another benefit that is means tested, which means you have to be earning under a set amount per week. For a full overview of what a Carer’s Allowance is, what it includes and who is eligible, read our Carer’s Allowance guide. If you don’t qualify for a Carer’s Allowance, you may still be eligible to other carer benefits like Carer’s Credit, which helps to fill in gaps on you national insurance record and build your entitlement to a state pension.
Jason explains Universal Credit
This is the umbrella term for the various benefits you are receiving which are paid to you monthly in one overall payment. If you are receiving Universal Credit, still working and caring for someone else, but not getting paid for this, you may qualify for a care component premium – which would be included in any Universal Credit payment made to you. Learn more about Universal Credit on the Gov.uk website.
Council Tax reductions for those living with dementia
Jason explains how he set his mother-in law up with this particular benefit. People living with someone with a diagnosis of dementia should be entitled to at least a 25% reduction on their Council Tax, depending on their local authority. This is something that is pretty easy to apply for on your local authority’s website or over the phone. They will usually contact the person with dementia’s GP to confirm a diagnosis and that you live with them.
There is a lot more to consider than just Council Tax reductions when it comes to looking after someone with dementia. Read our guide on why you should consider setting up a Power of Attorney for your relative with dementia.
Jason's tips on out what benefits you're entitled to
In addition to the Age Space guides on benefits, which includes information on attendance allowance, DLA / PIP, Constant attendance allowance and benefits for carers, Jason recommends www.entitledto.co.uk for a quick insight into what you might be eligible to get. For free, in-person advice we also recommend heading to your local Citizens Advice Bureau, who have specialist money counsellors to help advise you on any financial questions you have.
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