Category Archives: Benefits and entitlements

Attendance Allowance – a vital support

Georgie Scott

This blog was contributed by Ceri Smith, Campaigns Manager, at Age UK. 

As we age, many of us will develop long-term illnesses and disabilities and very often this means a higher price tag for day-to-day things that can help us to remain healthy and independent. Attendance Allowance is a nationally administered, non means-tested, weekly payment that helps older disabled people meet some of the extra costs they face. Attendance Allowance is one part of our care system that actually works well, supporting people and helping them to manage and maintain their independence. Continue reading

Why attendance allowance is so important to older people

Georgie Scott

This blog post was contributed by Ceri Smith, Campaigns Manager at Age UK. 

Age UK’s new report on Attendance Allowance highlights the big practical difference it makes to older disabled people who receive it, and calls on the Government not to go ahead with a proposal to transfer the benefit to councils.  Continue reading

Older people are still living in poverty and with growing inequality in later life

Our first blog post of the week looks at the findings from Age UK’s latest Chief Economist report. It focuses on the key economic aspects in the lives of many older people in the UK: inequality and poverty, and benefit take-up. 

Almost 60 years ago, Peter Townsend studied the lives of older people in East London and wrote:

The object of national assistance is largely to make up income, on test of means, to a subsistence level… A general definition of need is incorporated in its scale rates, and these are applied to individual circumstances, with certain discretionary disregards and allowances. The sums are intended to cover food, fuel and light, clothing, and household sundries, beside rent, and sometimes, after investigation, small additions are made for laundry, domestic help, or special diet. This definition of ‘subsistence’, on such evidence as exists, appears to be completely unrealistic.

You would be forgiven if, after reading Age UK’s latest Chief Economist Report, you concluded that not much has changed over all those years. Because, though the material aspects of the lives of older people in the country, whether in East London or East Belfast, have undeniably improved since then – thanks in a great part to the way initially ploughed by Eleanor Rathbone MP and the Old People’s Welfare Committee, Age UK’s predecessor, the current state of poverty among older people still looks dismal and grim as much as what it was like in Bethnal Green in yesteryear. Continue reading