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When you reach the State Pension age and beyond, there are a range of benefits available to you. These are aimed at older adults (such as State Pension benefits and travel discounts), while there are also benefits for disabled people and their carers.
Knowing which benefits you are and aren’t eligible for will greatly boost your income in later life! Here, we’ve gone over each of these benefits for pensioners, including what it is, what you’ll receive, whether you’re eligible and how to claim.
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The UK State Pension age is currently 66 for men and women, so the benefits below are aimed at people who have reached this age.
The State Pension is a payment from the government, based on the National Insurance (NI) contributions you’ve made across your working life.
The Basic State Pension is for people who have reached the State Pension age and have enough NI qualifying years.
The amount you’ll receive depends on your National Insurance record and how many qualifying years you have. A qualifying year is one in which you were working and paying National Insurance, received National Insurance credits or paid voluntary National Insurance contributions.
The full Basic State Pension for 2023/24 is £156.20. The State Pension increased by 10.1% in April 2023. To qualify for this, you’ll need a certain number of qualifying years (between 30 and 44 for men, and between 30 and 39 for women) - you can check your National Insurance record here.
You need to be either a:
The New State Pension is gradually replacing the Basic State Pension - as it’s for men and women in the UK born after a certain date. You can begin receiving the New State Pension when you reach the State Pension age.
The full new State Pension is £203.85 per week.
You’ll usually need a minimum of 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to receive any State Pension (these don’t have to be consecutive). You’ll need 35 qualifying years to get the full new State Pension.
You need to either be a:
You should automatically receive a letter telling you how to claim around four months before you’re due to reach State Pension age. If you haven’t received a letter, you can instead request an invitation code to apply online.
If you’re over the State Pension age and you are on a low income, Pension Credit will provide you with additional money to help with the cost of living. Pension Credit is separate from your State Pension.
Pension Credit is comprised of two different elements - Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
There are several other circumstances in which you might get extra help as well, and we’ve listed these below.
Pension credit tops up:
You could also be eligible to receive further payments through Pension Credit:
To be eligible, you must live in England, Scotland or Wales, and have reached the State Pension age. If applying for you and your partner, you must have both reached the State Pension age.
The following benefits can be claimed at certain times of the year (usually the winter months) and renewed annually, meaning if eligible, you’ll receive them every year.
The Cold Weather Payment provides you with an amount of money for each seven-day period in which the average temperature in your area is recorded as (or forecast to be) 0°C or below. Between 1st November 2022 and 31st March 2023, this was paid out at £25 for each seven-day period
The Cold Weather Payment Scheme has now ended for 2022 to 2023. The 2023 to 2024 scheme will begin on the 1st November 2023.
You’ll get £25 for every seven days of cold weather.
You may be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment if you receive any of the following benefits:
There isn’t a Cold Weather Payment scheme in Scotland. You may instead be eligible for an annual £50 Winter Heating Payment You’ll receive this, regardless of weather conditions in your local area.
There’s no need to apply for the Cold Weather Payment scheme. If eligible, you’ll automatically be paid it.
The Warm Home Discount is a one-off discount on your electricity bill. You won’t receive this money - instead, it’ll be directly taken off your bill. If your supplier provides you with gas and electricity, you may instead be able to get this money taken off your gas bill.
The Warm Home Discount scheme for 2022 to 2023 has now closed. This scheme will reopen again in October 2023, so be sure to check the Warm Home Discount page once it’s updated.
Under the 2022/23 Warm Home Discount, people had £150 taken off of their electricity bill.
You’ll qualify if you live in England or Wales and:
You’ll qualify if you live in Scotland and:
This scheme isn’t available in Northern Ireland.
If you’re eligible, you’ll receive a letter telling you about the discount. Most households will automatically receive this discount, so there’s no need to apply.
The Winter Fuel Payment is an annual tax-free benefit for households including someone born before 26th September 1956. It aims to help cover heating-related costs during the winter.
Depending on your circumstances, you could receive between £250 and £600 to help pay your heating bills.
This amount includes a ‘Pensioner Cost of Living Payment’ which is between £150 and £300. You’ll receive this additional amount in Winter 2022 to 2023 and Winter 2023 to 2024.
There's also a separate £900 Cost of Living Payment.
This scheme is aimed at people living in the UK born before 26th September 1956.
If you live in a care home, you can also get a Winter Fuel Payment.
However, you won’t be eligible if you:
If eligible, the majority of people will automatically receive the Winter Fuel Payment (such as if you’re above the State Pension age or receive a benefit such as Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Carer’s Allowance or Disability Living Allowance).
If eligible, you should have received a letter between October and November 2022 saying how much you’ll receive.
If you’re above the State Pension age in the UK, there are several transport-related discounts and benefits you’re eligible for across rail, buses and more.
A range of free and discounted public transport options are available to people above certain ages in the UK.
Free bus pass - You can travel for free on buses in England when you reach the State Pension age, when you turn 60 in Wales and Scotland, and when you turn 60/65 in Northern Ireland
60+ Oyster photocard - This allows you to travel for free on buses, tubes, the Overground and trams in London from the age of 60. Apply online for a 60+ Oyster photocard
National Express - Purchasing a Senior Coachcard for £12.50 will get you 1/3 off travel. This card will last you for a year and you must be aged 60 or over. Order a Senior Coachcard here
Senior Railcard - Save 1/3 on rail travel. A Senior Railcard costs £30 for one year, or £70 for three years. You must be aged 60 or over. Order a Senior Railcard here
To be eligible, you’ll need to have reached the relevant age, depending on what it is you wish to apply for (we’ve stated these above).
As we age, hospital visits may become more frequent. If you already receive certain benefits for pensioners or older adults, you can cover the costs of travelling to and from the hospital or a different health facility through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS).
The amount you’ll receive depends on how much you’ve spent on transport - whether that’s public transport or by car.
Those handling your claim will normally refund based on what would have been the cheapest form of transport for your circumstances. In most cases, this is public transport such as a bus or train.
You may be eligible for the Hospital Travel Costs Scheme if you receive:
To claim hospital travel costs, take your travel receipts and proof you’re receiving one of the relevant benefits to a nominated cashier’s office (these are located in the hospital or clinic where you’ve been treated). They’ll directly make the payment to you.
If a hospital or clinic doesn’t have cashier facilities, you can instead complete a HC5(T) Refund Claim Form and post it to the address given on the form.
You can make a postal claim up to three months after your appointment.
If you have a disability or care for someone else who does, there are several financial benefits available. Some of these are age-specific and aimed at people over the State Pension age, while others aren’t age-specific, so can be claimed by people of all ages.
Attendance Allowance is a State Pension age benefit for people living in the UK with disabilities that require somebody else to care for them. Attendance Allowance doesn’t cover mobility needs.
Attendance Allowance is paid at two separate rates. The rate you receive depends on how much support you require.
|Rate||Amount You’ll Receive||Amount of Support You Require|
|Lower Rate||£68.10||Frequent help and supervision during the day, or some supervision at night|
|Higher Rate||£101.75||Help and supervision throughout the day and at night|
You’ll be eligible for Attendance Allowance if you’ve reached State Pension age and the following apply:
We have an article dedicated to which medical conditions qualify for Attendance Allowance.
To claim, either:
Constant Attendance Allowance is for people who receive Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or a War Disablement Pension and require daily support because of a disability.
There are four different Constant Attendance Allowance rates. The amount you’ll receive depends on how your disability affects you and how much support you require.
|Full Day Rate||£83.10|
|Part Day Rate||£41.55|
To be eligible, you must claim one of the following:
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) is a benefit for people who have a disability as a result of an accident at work, or who have certain diseases caused by work.
The amount you’ll receive depends on your personal circumstances. You’ll be assessed to determine your level of disability on a scale of 1% to 100%.
Below, we’ve provided guidelines as to how much you may receive weekly, depending on your assessed level of disability. The actual amount may differ:
|Assessed Level of Disability||Weekly Amount|
You may be eligible to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if you’re disabled or became ill due to an accident or disease either:
To apply, you’ll need to fill in and post a claim form. For an accident caused by work, fill in the BI100A form. For an illness or disease caused by work, fill in the BI100PD form.
You can also ask the Barnsley Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Centre to send you a claim form. Call them on 0800 121 8379.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit to help with additional living costs caused by:
There are two parts to Personal Independence Payment. You may need just one or both of these parts:
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will assess how difficult you find day-to-day tasks and getting around, to determine which part(s) you qualify for
Here are the Personal Independence Payment rates and amounts for 2023/24:
|Lower Weekly Rate||Higher Weekly Rate|
|Daily Living Part||£68.10||£101.75|
You could also be able to claim several PIP freebies worth thousands of pounds.
You’re eligible for Personal Independence Payment if the following all apply:
Here’s the list of medical conditions that are eligible for PIP in the UK.
To claim Personal Independence Payment, you’ll need to call the ‘PIP New Claims line’ at 0800 917 2222. You’ll then be sent a form asking about your condition. Complete and return this form as soon as possible. If more information is needed, you may also need to have an assessment.
In Scotland, you should instead apply for Adult Disability Payment.
We have a guide explaining what illnesses qualify for Disability Living Allowance and DLA rates for 2023.
Disability Living Allowance comprises two components - the ‘care component’ and the ‘mobility component’. You could be eligible for one or both of these.
|Care Component||Weekly Rate||Amount of Support You Require|
|Lowest||£26.90||Help during some of the day|
|Middle||£68.10||Help throughout the day or at night|
|Highest||£101.75||Help throughout the day and at night, often including medical support|
|Mobility Component||Weekly Rate||Amount of Support You Require|
|Lower||£26.90||Guidance or supervision when outdoors|
|Higher||£71.00||A more severe or limiting condition, with walking requiring greater assistance|
You can only claim Disability Living Allowance if:
People aged over 16 can no longer apply for Disability Living Allowance. You should instead apply for:
Attendance Allowance - If you’re over the State Pension age and don’t currently receive Disability Living Allowance
Personal Independence Payment - If you live in England or Wales and haven’t reached the State Pension age)
Adult Disability Payment - If you live in Scotland and haven’t reached the State Pension age)
If you were born on or before 8th April 1948, you’ll continue receiving Disability Living Allowance as long as you’re eligible for it.
If you were born after 8th April 1948, your Disability Living Allowance will eventually end. You’ll receive a letter telling you when this happens, and you don’t need to do anything until this letter arrives.
If you spend a large amount of time (at least 35 hours a week) caring for somebody with an illness or disability, you may be entitled to the Carer’s Allowance benefit.
You could receive £76.75 a week (2023/24) if you care for somebody at least 35 hours a week and this person receives certain benefits.
Be aware that Carer’s Allowance can affect or stop certain other benefits. Learn more about the effect it’ll have on other benefits here.
To be eligible, you need to spend at least 35 hours a week caring for somebody. You don’t have to be related to, or live with, this person. Caring for someone can include things like helping with household tasks and providing transport where needed.
The person you care for must receive a benefit too, such as Personal Independence Payment (the daily living component), Disability Living Allowance (the middle or highest care rate) or Attendance Allowance.
There are also benefits specifically aimed at Armed Forces veterans and their spouses or partners. Though these aren’t necessarily age-specific, they’re most commonly claimed by older adults and pensioners aged over 70.
The War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension is paid to widows or widowers and the children of somebody killed in the Armed Forces, or somebody who later passed away as a result of an injury that occurred while serving in the Armed Forces.
The War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension is paid at various tax-free rates, depending on your age and personal circumstances.
Here are the most recent rates (from April 2022).
To be eligible for this scheme, your husband, wife or civil partner will have passed away as a result of serving in the UK Armed Forces before 6th April 2005.
There are several other similar ways you may be eligible. Click here to learn more about eligibility for this benefit.
To claim the War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension, you can either:
Then, send the completed form to:
This is a compensation scheme for war veterans who have developed illnesses or injuries, or their pre-existing illnesses or injuries have been made worse, as a result of serving in the UK Armed Forces.
The type of War Pension scheme you’ll enter depends on the extent of your disability:
You’re eligible to claim under the War Pension Scheme if you’re no longer serving in the UK Armed Forces and your disability arose before 6th April 2005.
To make a claim, visit the Apply for Armed Forces Compensation or a War Pension page.
If you’re unemployed, on a low income or are claiming other benefits, Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent. Housing Benefit is also aimed at people who have reached the State Pension age.
The amount you’ll receive depends on a variety of factors, including whether you rent privately, or rent with council or social housing. The amount you’ll receive also depends on household income, personal circumstances and your ‘eligible rent’. ‘Eligible rent’ is the amount used to work out your Housing Benefit claim. This is your actual rent, plus any service charges you have to pay (but not bills such as water or gas).
There’s no set amount of Housing Benefit you’ll receive.
To make a new Housing Benefit claim, either of the following need to apply:
If your savings are above £16,000 then you usually won’t be eligible, unless you receive the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit.
You can apply:
Also known as Council Tax Support, a Council Tax Reduction means paying less council tax on your monthly bill. You apply for a reduction through your local council. We have a guide explaining whether pensioners pay Council Tax.
The size of the Council Tax Reduction you’ll receive depends on:
Your bill could potentially be reduced by up to 100%.
You may be eligible if you’re on low income or claim other benefits. You can apply if you own your own home or rent.
When you reach a certain age in the UK (currently 75), you can get a free TV licence. Usually, a TV licence costs £159 per household per year.
You won’t have to pay for your TV licence. This is the case for everybody in your household, as the TV licence is paid for on a household-by-household basis.
You can get a free TV licence in the UK if you (or somebody else in your household) are aged 75 or over and claims pension guarantee credits.
You can also get a free TV licence if you live in a care home.
Meanwhile, if you’re registered blind as a result of a visual impairment, you can get a 50% discount on your TV licence, regardless of age.
Once you turn 75, you’ll need to apply for your free TV licence. You can do this by applying online, or by contacting TV Licencing on 0300 790 6117.
People above a certain age in the UK (usually 60) can receive a range of free or discounted treatments, prescriptions and checkups through the NHS.
You’re also eligible for free NHS dental treatment if you or your partner receives:
If you’re aged 60 or over in Scotland or Wales, you’re also eligible for free NHS dental examinations.
Learn more about free dental treatment for over 60s.
If eligible, these discounts will be automatically applied when you receive treatment or go for a checkup.
If a benefit is needed for a discount, be sure to take proof of this benefit (such as a certificate) with you.
We’re on a mission to support individuals and their loved ones throughout each stage of their later living journey. For more information, check out everything Lottie has to offer.
Written by our team of experts and designed to help families fund later life care in England.