The Age NI Benefit Uptake scheme is now up and running and you could perhaps benefit from a review of your benefits to ensure you are receiving your full entitlements.
Client: “I’m so worried about money at the minute. My husband and I are panicking about getting oil sorted, we need to get the car serviced and Christmas is just around the corner. My daughter mentioned Pension Credit to me – I don’t even know what it is or how to find out…”
AgeNI: ” Benefits can be confusing but you need to make sure are getting everything you are entitled to. There are two types of Pension Credit – Guarantee and Savings. You must be above State Pension age. Guarantee Pension Credit is extra money to make your weekly income up to a minimum level decided by the government.
“At present, this amount is £137.35 for singles and £209.70 for couples. This increases significantly if you are disabled, a carer or have certain housing costs such as mortgage interest payments. Savings of £10,000 are ignored – even if you have over £10,000 you may still qualify, depending on your circumstances, so it is always worth checking this out.
You may not have qualified in the past, but the rates and allowances change each April, so it is always worth checking again! If you are paid Guarantee Pension Credit:
* You will get the maximum possible help with rent or rates
* You get £25 automatically when the weather falls below 0 C degrees for seven days in a row
* If you are a home owner, the Pension Service may help with services charges, ground rent, mortgage interest and interest on home maintenance loans
* If you receive either Guarantee Pension Credit or Savings Credit, you may get help from the Social Fund and energy efficiency grants.
“Savings Credit is for people 65 and over and provides extra money if you have savings or an income higher than the basic state pension – perhaps because of a small private or occupational pension. Call the Age NI Advice Service today on 0808 808 7575 for a free and confidential benefits check – our Advisors will help you make sense of the information.”
Age NI is the new charity combining Age Concern NI and Help the Aged in Northern Ireland.
The Age NI Spread the Warmth campaign aims to help older people across NI survive winter – visit www.ageni.org/stw for more information.