Let’s Talk Money

Welfare reform and the benefits system have been high on the news agenda recently, but an often overlooked issue is the persistent problem of pensioner poverty. With 1.7m pensioners (14%) currently living in poverty, and £5.5bn pounds of benefits left unclaimed by pensioners, Age UK has re-launched its Let’s Talk Money campaign.

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 13.42.31A significant amount of research highlights that there are many reasons why older people aren’t claiming the benefits that they are entitled to – from a perception that the application process is too complicated, to the belief that they don’t qualify.

With so many people slipping through the net, Age UK aims to challenge the myths around eligibility, and encourage older people to claim the benefits that they are entitled to so that they can make the most of later life.

The campaign continues to focus on encouraging older people to claim the benefits they are entitled to, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Attendance Allowance.

People on low incomes can use the extra money that benefits provide to pay for utility bills, broken appliances or some much needed help around the house – removing financial stress that is a burden for so many.

David and Linda’s story

Benefits specially developed for people over the state pension age can transform lives.

66-year-old Linda cares for her husband David, 70, who has Parkinson’s. David’s illness made him depressed and financial worries were an extra anxiety.

David thought they weren’t entitled to anything, as he had a private pension and they owned their own home.

Linda was self-employed with her own business for 15 years, but hadn’t paid enough contributions which meant she was only entitled to a certain amount of pension.

After spotting an article about the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP), Linda called the DWP who passed her the phone number for Age UK. She called Age UK and had a call back the same day, advising what to prepare in advance of the advisor’s visit.

The Age UK Advisor visited their home and chatted with David. They identified £72 of Attendance Allowance per week, found a reduction on council tax, gas and electric.

David couldn’t believe it, thought they’d have to give the money back as there’d been a mistake. The extra money has been a godsend and provided a little cushion if things break down.

There is more money there for the essentials and they’ve now got home contents insurance which they couldn’t afford before. They can now also go out and buy plants for the garden, and the extra money has reduced David’s anxiety.

Take Action:

If you know someone who might be struggling to make ends meet or could benefit from a bit of extra money, here are a few things you can do:

  • Go online and use Age UK’s benefit calculator to find out exactly what you could be entitled to – www.ageuk.org.uk/benefitscheck
  • Pop into your local Age UK and speak to one of our advisors for free
  • Call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 169 65 65 to request a free More Money in Your Pocket booklet, which contains benefits advice for people over pension age

Find out more about Age UK’s Let’s Talk Money campaign or get in touch with your local Age UK or call Age UK Advice, the charity’s free helpline 0800 169 65 65.

8 responses to “Let’s Talk Money

  1. The pensions and earnings link was cut by Margaret Thatcher in 1980, over 30 years ago. And the British people have let this happen without protest.

    Age UK/Help the Aged/and Age Concern, are all government funded charities with huge turnovers. What is needed in this country is a protest of 60 million people on behalf of all UK pensioners. Anything less, like this announcement from AgeUK is too little, too late, and so typically laid back

    • HI Michael

      Just to point out – Age UK is not Government-funded in any way. All our income is self-generated from fundraising, our shops and social enterprise work.

      Local Age UKs do get some local council funding, although this is fast disappearing because of the extreme cuts in budgets that central government has imposed.

  2. With apologies, but the fact is that until elderly people in this country have the entire support of their own country nothing will ever change. As you are not tied to the Government why dont you get the media talking about old age poverty, and the reason why ?

    • Hi again

      We do try to – it’s a constant campaign to get stories out there to make people understand the problems that exist.

      However, it costs money to market what we do and believe, as well as to provide the key services we offer to older people and we have to balance the two.

      We have continuous campaigns and messages going to raise awareness of the plight of millions of older people, but we know it takes time to change people’s perceptions – however frustrating that may be.

      We also rely on advocates like yourself to spread the word, because personal testimony is as powerful – if not more so – than anything we can say as a large organisation.

      Thanks

  3. Hi, I have been in the pensioners corner for over 20 years, because I feel it is my duty to fight on behalf of our existing and living war veterans.
    I am also standing as an Independent for Parliament at the next General election on behalf of pensioners. I have a manifesto, would you like to see it ?. Also, please go here.
    I have a website where you can have your say on issues you care about, and my web site is also about how badly Britain’s pensioners have been treated since the 80’s and Thatcher, the reasons/s why ?, and the desperate need for young people to be made aware and join the 30 year fight for better State pensions for our elderly people. There is also a petition on my site that needs signatures, and it’s on the same issue. My site is free to join, and free to comment on all postings http://pvc322.forumotion.co.uk

  4. Pingback: For the elderly citizen, there are plenty of considerations and concerns to content with.

  5. Pingback: pension credit is the main offender when it comes to unallocated cash

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