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Benefits for older people

Find out what benefits may be available to pensioners and those approaching pension age.

More than £5 billion of means-tested benefits go unclaimed by older people every year. It is therefore essential that you make sure you are receiving your full entitlement. You can do this by using the Benefit Calculator for Older People.  Alternatively, you may wish to find out if you are entitled to any of the help listed below:   

Benefit / Help availableWhat is it?
State PensionYou can get a State Pension once you reach state pension age as long as certain National Insurance contribution conditions have been met. 
Pension CreditPension Credit is a means-tested benefit available to older people who have reached a certain age.
Universal CreditIf you are part of a couple only 1 of you is over State Pension age, you can't usually make a new claim for Pension Credit. You usually need to claim Universal Credit instead.
Attendance AllowanceIf you are state pension age, you could get extra money if you have personal care and/or supervision needs due to a health problem or disability. If you have not reached state pension age and have long term ill-health or a disability you could apply for Personal Independence Payment.
Housing BenefitIf you are on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits, you may be able to get Housing Benefit to help towards paying your rent. 
Money off your Council Tax billYou may be able to get help towards paying your Council Tax bill through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme or if you satisfy the criteria for Council Tax discounts or exemptions
Winter Fuel PaymentYou will automatically get a Winter Fuel Payment to help you pay your winter fuel bills if you are getting a State Pension or another qualifying social security benefit.   
If you are aged 60 or over, you can apply for a National Entitlement Card which will give you free bus travel throughout Scotland. 
Community Care services for older peopleYou may be able to get a range of Community Care services to help you live independently at home such as a delivered meals service, reablement, home caretelecare and day care.  An assessment of your care needs will be carried out to determine your eligibility. 
Free TV LicenceIf you are aged 75 or older and receive Pension Credit you can get your TV Licence for free. If you are blind or in residential care, you may get a discounted one. 

What to do if you disagree with a benefit decision

If you have been turned down for a benefit or have received a decision that you are not happy about, you can ask for the decision to be looked at again. This is called a mandatory reconsideration.  If the decision is not revised in your favour, you can appeal against the decision.

Making a complaint 

If you are unhappy with the service you receive in relation to your benefits, you may want to consider making a complaint.

Last modified on 21 November 2023

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