If you haven’t reached State Pension age yet and you’re on a low income or not working, you may be eligible for some working age benefits.


Universal credit is the main benefit to replace employment income for anyone 18 and over. If you’re on a low income or not working and you and your partner have less than £16,000 in savings you can apply.

The amount of Universal Credit you receive depends on your situation; having children, a disability or housing costs can all increase the amount of support you receive.

Find out how to apply

If disability or a health condition means you can’t work, you may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). ESA gives you money to help with living costs and support to get back into work if you’re able to.

Most new claims are for ‘new style’ ESA. To be eligible you’ll need to:

  • Have been working in the last 2-3 years, paying National Insurance contributions
  • Not be receiving Statutory Sick Pay.

What ESA gives you

Successful ESA claims are put into one of two groups: ‘work-related activity’ or ‘support’. This reflects the severity of your disability or health condition and the likelihood of you returning to work. You may be eligible for additional amounts if you're a member of a couple, a carer or have a severe disability.

  • Work-related activity group - £90.50 a week
  • Support - £138.20

Find out how to apply

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 £72.65 a week £108.55 a week
Mobility £28.70 a week £75.75 a week

If you have a terminal illness

If you have less than 12 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

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Understanding your options

While they’re the most well known, care homes aren’t your only option. Find out about other potential options, such as home adaptations.

Finding care

Whether you need some help at home or want to find out more about Care Homes in your area, we have information on where to search and what questions to ask.

Avoiding care costs

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