Financial support for older people

If you are an older person and looking for some financial support to pay for your daily living expenses, there are a range of benefits that you could be eligible for.  Some of these benefits are explained in this article.

The South Gloucestershire Council website has information on current support available to those who are struggling financially with the cost of living, including details of face-to-face support and advice that is available. 

You can also find information on our Household Support Fund (available until 30th September 2022) which provides support for those struggling to buy food, pay energy and water bills.

Page contents:

Help to pay bills

Housing Benefit

This is a means tested benefit designed to help those on a low income to pay their rent. You can apply for housing benefit if you and your partner are old enough to get state pension. More details about this can be found on the council’s Housing Benefit webpage.

For working age people not already in receipt of Housing Benefit (with some exceptions), housing benefit has been replaced by a new benefit called Universal Credit, which for many people will take into account their housing costs, so you don’t have to make a separate housing benefit claim.  More details about this can be found on the council’s Housing Benefit webpage

Council Tax Reduction (CTR)

If you’re household has low income you may be able to get a reduction in your council tax payments. There is also a reduction available if you live alone or live with someone who is not classed as an adult. More information about CTR and how to apply is available on the council’s Council Tax webpage.

Winter Fuel payments

is an annual tax-free payment to help with heating costs. Most payments are made between November and December. There is more information on the Age UK website.

TV licences

If you're 75 or older and claim Pension Credit, you can get a free TV licence. If you're visually impaired or living in a care home or sheltered housing you may be able to get a discount. More information can be found by visiting the Age UK website.

Concessionary Transport

Once you reach pensionable age you are eligible for a free concessionary bus pass and other discounted travel. More information on UK transport concessions can be found on the Age UK website. Information on how to apply or renew your Concessionary Diamond travel card can be found on the council’s Concessionary Travel webpage.

How to get help with urgent or one-off expenses

Sometimes unexpected bills or circumstances happen and you may be unable to afford to cover the costs. In the event of this happening, you may be able to get your benefits paid in advance, or apply for help from your local council or a charity. More information about urgent payments can be found on the following websites Age UK  and the council’s Welfare Grant scheme webpage.

Help to boost income

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

is a benefit for people who can't work because of an illness or disability. You may be able to claim new style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) with, or instead of, Universal Credit, depending on your National Insurance record. More information about ESA and how to apply can be found on the Age UK website or the GOV.UK website.

Income Support

is a benefit to help people on a low income. If you are under State Pension age and unable to work or only work a few hours, this benefit could help to top up your income. Further information and how to apply can be found on the Age UK website or the GOV.UK website.

Pension Credit

is a benefit for people over State Pension age. It tops up your income if you're struggling to make ends meet. Further information and how to apply can be found on the Age UK website or the GOV.UK website.

Universal Credit

If you are out of work or on a low income, you may be able to claim this to boost the money you have coming in. Further information and how to apply can be found on the Age UK website and the GOV.UK website.

Personal Independence Payment

is a benefit for people who may need help with daily activities or getting around because of a long-term illness or disability. For more information and how to apply visit the Age UK website.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

If you are under pension age and looking for work, you might be able to claim this to top up your income while you look for work. You can only apply for contribution-based and income-based JSA if you get the severe disability premium or you are only applying for ‘new style’ JSA. The type of JSA you can claim will be worked out by the Jobcentre Plus office. For more information and how to apply visit the Age UK website or the GOV. UK website.

Help to pay for care or following a bereavement

Attendance Allowance

is a benefit for people over state pension age who need help with personal care or supervision because of illness or disability. For more information and how to apply visit the Age UK website or the GOV.UK website.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

is a benefit for disabled people. It is a monthly tax-free payment, but it is gradually being replaced by Personal Independence Payment. For further information and how to apply visit the Age UK website.

Further information about financial support for people with disabilities is available on the GOV.UK website.

Disabled Facilities Grant

If you need to make adaptations to your home to meet the needs of a disabled person you may be eligible for this grant. For more information on the grant and how to apply see the council’s Disabled Facilities grant webpage.

Council tax disregards and exemptions

If adaptations to the property are needed, the council tax bill may be reduced if you live in the property where these changes have been made to help a resident child or adult who has a disability. There are also disregards and exemptions for medical reasons.  For more information visit the council’s Council Tax discounts webpage.

Carer's Allowance

is the main welfare benefit to help carers. You may still be able to claim it, even if you don't think of yourself as a carer. For more information and how to apply visit the Age UK website or the GOV.UK website.

More information and support for carers is available from the Carers Centre.  You can apply here for a Carers Emergency card which can use to help find care for the person you care for if you are taken seriously ill.

Bereavement Support Payment

If your spouse or civil partner has died you may be able to claim to help ease some of the financial worries you may be facing. For more information and how to apply visit the Age UK website or the GOV.UK website.

NHS health costs

depending on your age and circumstances you may be entitled to help with some health costs. For further information visit the Age UK website.

Further Information

More information about benefits and help with finances can be found on the Citizens Advice bureau  website or the Money Advice website.

If you would like information on how to get independent financial advice you can find helpful advice on the council's webpage.