Every year in the UK, a staggering £3.7bn worth of benefits fail to be claimed by the older generation. Whilst some people might not actually need the grants and financial support, these opportunities are a lifeline to others. Many of the benefits are means-tested and income related, but others are based only on someone’s age meaning they’re practically guaranteed. Meanwhile, other benefits provide financial help during difficult times; if you experience bereavement, for example.
If you’re retired and are wondering what government help you’re eligible for, read on. You can also use an online benefits calculator to establish whether there are funds you can take advantage of. This is especially true if you’re having difficulty make ends meet and a little extra income would make all the difference to your independence and standard of living.
A lot of the benefits available to the older generation only look at someone’s age as a qualifier. This means that even if you’re fit, healthy and have a good income, you could still receive some money or alternative financial help, such as free goods and services.
Owning a car can be expensive, especially if you’re trying to make ends meet on a pension. There might also be reasons you can’t drive; medical conditions or loss of sight, for example. Luckily there are various forms of benefits available, allowing for free or discounted travel on a range of public transport.
- Bus Pass
The government offers a free bus pass for elderly people that can be used at any time of day or night (there’s no need to worry about peak travel times, for example). Qualification depends on where you live and your date of birth. Simply contact your local authority to see when you’re eligible.
- London Freedom Pass
If you live in London, you can take advantage of the London Freedom Pass and travel on the capital’s national rail, tram, bus, London underground and river services at no cost. Eligibility for this pass works according to the State Pension age for women, so if you were born on October 6th, 1954, or thereafter, you can’t get the free pass until you’re 66. If you don’t yet qualify for the pass, you can still get a special Oyster card when you’re 60 that provides free travel around London.
- Senior Railcard
If you frequently travel by rail, it might be worth buying a senior railcard. A one-time fee is charged for this discount card, which is available to you if you’re 60 years old or over. There are other perks too, including reduced membership costs for certain food and art societies.
- Coach Discounts
Though the government don’t offer any national scheme for reductions in coach travel, many individual operators provide senior discounts. National Express, for example, offers Senior Coach Cards for the 60 and overs. It costs £10, and you can get a third off all your trips.”
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