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MSE News: Older people should check their benefits, says Age UK

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"A third of older people are struggling financially - but many could get help straight away, Age UK says..."
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Older people should check their benefits, says Age UK

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  • rogerblack
    rogerblack Posts: 9,446 Forumite
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    If you are approaching your 65th birthday, and have problems with getting around due to disability, it is most important that you consider claiming disability living allowance.

    DLA is a benefit that helps with the extra costs of disability, and includes help due to problems with mobility. If you have problems getting around due to pain or discomfort, or you have been advised not to walk medically, you may be entitled for help with mobility.

    This cannot be claimed after the 65th birthday, and you would need to instead claim Attendance Allowance - which does not count mobility.
    Attendance allowance and DLA both have parts which are paid due to your abilities caring for yourself at home, but you can only be paid to help with your mobility if you make a DLA claim before your 65th birthday. (DLA continues after this time if you've made a claim).

    (DLA is changing to PIP - but this is at the moment in a trial area only, the above applies to the vast majority)

    https://www.gov.uk/dla-disability-living-allowance-benefit/overview
  • Trix3y
    Trix3y Posts: 39 Forumite
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    It should come as no surprise that many older people do not claim benefits that they are entitled too. This last year some government ministers seem to be on a mission to portray pensioners as an affluent group of people that are taking money from the country that they do not need. For example the debate on heating allowance and bus passes. Whilst it can be true that a minority of older people are wealthy,many struggle to survive. These are the people that worked in many cases for forty to fifty years contributing in tax and national insurance to the government coffers. During the last decades there was not the opportunity to take out private pensions especially for women.The Tory Government in the eighties diminished the state pension by removing the link to wages,this had an enormous impact upon retiring. I feel that older people are now the scapegoats for the financial mess Britain is in.Maybe some Ministers would care to live on what some older people survive on and then they could step into the real world.
  • MissMoneypenny
    MissMoneypenny Posts: 5,324 Forumite
    edited 15 May 2013 at 3:33PM
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    Trix3y wrote: »
    This last year some government ministers seem to be on a mission to portray pensioners as an affluent group of people that are taking money from the country that they do not need. For example the debate on heating allowance and bus passes.

    Both of those benefits should be based on NINo contributions and a requirement that they reside in the UK.
    Trix3y wrote: »
    The Tory Government in the eighties diminished the state pension by removing the link to wages,this had an enormous impact upon retiring.

    To try to reduce the dependency on state benefits. State pensions are benefits.

    It was Labour who stole the private pensions and stole money from children who saved.
    RENTING? Have you checked to see that your landlord has permission from their mortgage lender to rent the property? If not, you could be thrown out with very little notice.
    Read the sticky on the House Buying, Renting & Selling board.


  • Trix3y
    Trix3y Posts: 39 Forumite
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    I am afraid I take issue about state pensions being benefits,they are not benefits but the result of years of working and paying NI contributions,these form your state pension.My post was not political but stating fact.Many older people were assured in the 50s and 60s that the state pension would provide in their retirement,the removal of the link in the 1980 s destroyed this, Fact. As for savings,unless well paid it is difficult to save money when working whilst paying mortgage,council tax, heating,electric food etc. and providing for children. No help then with childcare costs, family tax credit,working tax benefit or other forms of state assistance now available.
  • MissMoneypenny
    MissMoneypenny Posts: 5,324 Forumite
    edited 15 May 2013 at 9:38PM
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    Trix3y wrote: »
    I am afraid I take issue about state pensions being benefits,they are not benefits but the result of years of working and paying NI contributions,these form your state pension.My post was not political but stating fact.Many older people were assured in the 50s and 60s that the state pension would provide in their retirement,the removal of the link in the 1980 s destroyed this, Fact. As for savings,unless well paid it is difficult to save money when working whilst paying mortgage,council tax, heating,electric food etc. and providing for children. No help then with childcare costs, family tax credit,working tax benefit or other forms of state assistance now available.

    Not everyone on state pension and other pension type benefits, are getting them due to "years of working and paying NI contributions".

    Children are only young for a few years of the parents working life and the other parent should have worked all the time. Mortgages use to be for about 25 years. Back in the 60s, lots of motivated 20 year olds got mortgages. You were allowed to leave children with neighbours/friends then while you worked a few hours and in turn, you gave them their hours back in babysitting:

    Work started about age 16, through to age 60/65. There was lots of young child free and mortgage free years, to be able to save extra money towards a private pension.
    RENTING? Have you checked to see that your landlord has permission from their mortgage lender to rent the property? If not, you could be thrown out with very little notice.
    Read the sticky on the House Buying, Renting & Selling board.


  • Trix3y
    Trix3y Posts: 39 Forumite
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    As a final post I was perfectly aware that NI contributions were not solely for the state pension. At the end of my working life I lost my job and found I was only entitled to basic JSA,the same as a person who had never contributed. In respect to doing alright,you may be, but many retired people are not. Personally I worked in a vocational job which was not well paid,and as previously posted could not save for a private pension. Additionally even in previous generations there were one parent families bringing up children,therefore no extra person working. I was surprised at your comments on family neighbours etc providing childcare for free,this was certainly not my experience or of my friends who had to work. Without wishing to cause offence your comments reminded me of an attitude that because life has obviously been good to you,not appreciating that other people have had different experiences through no fault of their own.
  • MissMoneypenny
    MissMoneypenny Posts: 5,324 Forumite
    edited 17 May 2013 at 10:41AM
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    Trix3y wrote: »
    Without wishing to cause offence your comments reminded me of an attitude that because life has obviously been good to you,not appreciating that other people have had different experiences through no fault of their own.

    If that comment is aimed at me: I was a single parent when my children were 6 and 8; at a time when there were no child tax credits. It was work to provide for your own, or struggle to survive. My ex refused to pay maintenance for the first 5 years and it was all dragged on through the courts for years. No CSA then.

    I wouldn't say "life has been good" to me, but it hasn't been bad to me either. It's been fun and I have my health. Life is what you make it.
    Trix3y wrote: »
    I was surprised at your comments on family neighbours etc providing childcare for free,this was certainly not my experience or of my friends who had to work.

    I lived in 3 different counties (due to my ex's job) before my youngest started school and never had any trouble finding people to share childcare.

    I started part time work on the day my youngest started school. That job fitted in with school hours and I took friends' children in during the holidays or after school, if their grandparents couldn't do it. Just as they helped me when I was stuck. When I divorced, I ran my own businesses, that fitted in around school times and again shared childcare with friends.

    I wasn't the only mother doing all that, single or married.

    You did have years to save for a private or second pension.

    Although it seems now, that those who saved for their old age are often worse off these days, compared to those who didn't bother. This thread is about all the beneftis there are for pensioners and the passport benefits they can then get now, if they have a low income. They don't even have had to done "years of working and paying NI contributions" to get all that given to them.We really need a two tier benefits system.
    RENTING? Have you checked to see that your landlord has permission from their mortgage lender to rent the property? If not, you could be thrown out with very little notice.
    Read the sticky on the House Buying, Renting & Selling board.


  • mazza111
    mazza111 Posts: 6,327 Forumite
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    Divide and conquer springs to mind when these benefit debates pop up. They have isolated many sick and disabled people, who then in turn have questioned the benefits that pensioners get.
    4 Stones and 0 pounds or 25.4kg lighter :j
  • iris
    iris Posts: 1,397 Forumite
    Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    edited 17 May 2013 at 11:37AM
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    We always received child benefit (family allowance it was called earlier) and from some time in the mid-to-late 60s this was paid for the first child as well as for subsequent ones.

    I don't think this is correct. I only had one child in 1964 and if I remember correctly I didn't receive any 'family allowance' until she was 15 in 1979, and it was £1 per week!

    I believe it was 'phased in' from 1977.
  • mumps
    mumps Posts: 6,285 Forumite
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    I think the first child became eligible in 1977. In the late 50s it was nothing for the first child, 8s with second child and 10s for third and subsequent child. Interestingly Child Benefit reversed this with a higher payment for the first child, this wasn't in 1977 but sometime in the 90s. The child tax allowance ended when child benefit was introduced.

    Changes to the system were proposed in 1966 but I think it was only discussion at that time.
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