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 £141.85 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 £185.15 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: £60 per week
- Higher rate: £89.60 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);
- you're not already in receipt of a working age disability benefit (such as a Personal Independence Payment).
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 of State Pension age||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.
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.
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
Our mythbusting guide can help you make sense of gifting rules.