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Many people don’t take advantage of the benefits the system provides for them. Getting access to the wide range of available benefits can greatly impact quality of life. People also need to remember that these change as they get older, and they need to be aware of what is available to them at each stage of life.

The UK has a range of benefits available to the over 60s. From higher education to help towards heating costs, cheap cinema tickets to paying less council tax, whether you're on a low income or not, then you should see what help you can get. There's been lots of changes in the way the British government structures its benefits system, many well-known social security payments have been renamed and regrouped into things like Universal Credit, and there have been pensionable age increases too.

Possible benefits include -

Here are some brief details - please click one of the links for more information.

Pension credits

Pension credit mostly covers older residents, above the age of 60 with low income levels. About four million people in the UK are entitled to the pension credit yet one in three still don’t claim it. The pension credit is categorized in two parts:

1) The guaranteed credit – The guaranteed credit usually tops up the weekly income to a set minimum level. Anyone receiving this form of credit is entitled to free prescriptions, free dental treatment and help with travel costs for hospital appointments
2) The savings credit – The savings credit is usually beneficial to those people who earn an income that is higher than the basic state pension.
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Free prescriptions and Sight tests

Once you hit 60 years old, medicine prescribed by your doctor is free anywhere in the United Kingdom. Before this age, you can access free prescriptions in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. However, those residing in England will have to part with £8.60 in prescription charges. In order to get your free prescriptions, you need to let the chemist know in advance. They will need identification to prove your age. You’ll also get an invitation every two years to screen for bowel cancer. A one off 'Bowel Scope' screening has also been introduced for those aged 55 years and above.
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Subsidised travel

UK residents are entitled to free or subsidised travel in their 60s. However, Scotland is consulting on increasing the age limit in which you are eligible for free rides. Additionally, Northern Ireland now has cheaper rates on other public means of transport. In order to qualify for a free bus ride you are required to fill out an application form from your local county council. If you are above the age of 60, you are entitled to a senior pension rail card, that gives you reduced fares for many journeys within the UK.
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Attendance Allowance

If you are above the age of 65 and need care, then you may be eligible for an attendance allowance. The allowance is paid in two rates depending on the need for care. The lowest care rate offered is £55.65 a week. You will be entitled to this allowance if you are being attended to day and night. The highest possible rate that is available is £82.10 a week.

Annual flu jab

The annual flu jab is administered for free every winter once you hit the age of 65. You wouldn’t need a GP referral in order to get your free flu jab in pharmacies. The injections are usually available during the months of September and February.
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The job seekers allowance

If you are over 18, not in full time employment, and working less than 16 hours a week you can apply for a job seekers allowance, provided that you are still looking for work. However, you cease to receive the allowance once you reach the pensionable age. The maximum payment for an individual is £73.90 a week, or for a couple it might be as high as £114.85 a week.
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Special support grant

If you are a resident of England, Northern Ireland or Wales, and you are looking to study full time for a post graduate or undergraduate degree, you may be able to access student finance in your respective regions, but this is not the case if you are in your 60s and still need to study. This being the case, you are still eligible for a special support grant, as opposed to the assembly learning grant or maintenance grant. The good thing about the special support grant is the fact that it isn’t considered when calculating means-tested benefits.
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Student support grants

Increasing tuition fees and a higher cost of living has left many students fearing financial hardship. Most parts of the UK provide help towards paying for course fees and other expenditure such as accommodation. There are national variations in how the support is accessed, and there's also more resources available from local authorities and private businesses. If you rely on support grants like many students do, knowing what your options are could dictate where and what you study, and any extra help you could get. In this article, we look at the application process, fee and grant amounts, and provide some useful contact information to start things moving.
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State Pension

As the State Pension age increases to 66 years old for both sexes, lots of us are re-planning our finances. The structure has been divided to an old and new system, and so understanding how the changes might impact you can be confusing. However, applying is easy and there's someone at the end of the phone who will complete the paperwork for you.

Did you know you can access your State Pension forecast online?

To make things easier, we'll explain how benefits are calculated, discuss how National Insurance Contributions effect eligibility, and look at how much you could be entitled to.
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Universal Credit

Easily one of the most unfavourable shake-ups, the introduction of Universal Credit has left most people baffled. A lengthy application process, double the wait for payments, and meeting 'Claimant Commitment' criteria are all hurdles to overcome.

Replacing things like housing benefit and tax credits, being eligible for Universal Credit means you should be able to apply for lots of other benefits, plus extra cash to assist with costs like childcare. Here we'll talk you through how it works and how to apply.

Every day's delay is money lost, you can use our links to get your online application submitted today.
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Council tax rebates

Paying council tax eats up a large proportion of our income. Getting some of that money back makes a huge difference to most people. Local authorities now handle council tax rebates, not the government. It's also been renamed 'Council Tax Reduction'. And there's no particular way each regional office evaluates and processes their claims.

However, there can be huge advantages to the re-shuffle. In this article we'll provide information to help get your claim started, run through terminology you'll hear during your application, and provide an example of how things are worked out.
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Disability benefit

Did you know you can claim PIP regardless of how much money you have in your bank account or if you claim other benefits?

Personal Independence Payment is the new name for Disability Living Allowance. Its eligibility criteria takes a sensible approach, looking at the challenges unique to each case. There are 2 different parts to the new disability benefit, we'll explain what they are and the typical amounts paid, plus describe qualifying elements. With claims taking around 12 weeks to process, it's important to call the DWP and complete yours over the phone straight away.
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cheaper local facility access

There are lots of great discounts out there for the over 60s. Are you taking advantage of them? Some pensioners do, but many feel embarrassed to ask or assume there won't be. Yet, there usually is.

Most types of entertainment is expensive these days. But you can still fill your social calender without compromising your weekly budget. How about tea and biscuits at the Silver Cinema or an afternoon browsing an art gallery?

If you're interested in why concessions are good for everybody, and you'd like to discover the variety of interesting places who offer them, this one's for you.
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Looking for life insurance?

Life insurance doesn't have to be unaffordable. This applies even as we get older, since policies are available which are designed to cater for the needs of those approaching, or over, pensionable age.

By shopping around and comparing premiums and benefits you could cut the costs even further. However, which of us have the time or inclination to do that? Luckily there is a better way.

Our partners have access to a panel of insurers, all of which are, of course, fully authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which ensures that the regulated companies meet the highest ethical standards and will work hard to find the best policies for you.

All you have to do is provide a few details, and these will be passed on to insurers on the panel. They will get back in touch with you and get quotations for you.

You just then compare the prices and the benefits, and decide which policy is best for you.

To maintain your privacy all information is passed on using highly secure technology and only insurers who will be able to find you an excellent deal will be invited to quote.

Don't delay. Compare life insurance quotes now.

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