Claiming benefits you are entitled to

One of the first things you need to do is see if you are entitled to Continuing Healthcare Needs support from the NHS.  If you are, then some, or all, of your costs can be met by the NHS. Please visit our advice and support section for more information on this topic.  

However, if you are not entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare Needs support, as you move in to needing care, it is inevitable that you will face increasing costs. Therefore, it is really important that you understand what benefits and support is available to you, as you will be entitled to these if you need care in the home or if you go in to a residential care home. It is also important because when you have to calculate how much you have to pay towards your long-term care, it will be assumed that you are receiving the benefits that you are entitled too.

Many of the benefits you are entitled to are not impacted by your income or any savings that you may have. Additionally, not all benefits are means-tested so irrespective of what other income you have, you will be entitled to the benefit.

What benefits can you claim?

The main benefits that you can look at claiming are:

  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance

Personal Independence Payment

If you have mobility issues and have trouble getting around or undertaking everyday tasks you may be entitled to claim for a Personal Independence Payment, or sometimes called a PIP. This benefit has replaced the disability living allowance for people aged 16 to 64. See details of the attendance allowance below if you are aged over 65.  The video below from the citizens advice bureau provides you with some more information:

The Personal Independence Payment is made up of two parts and there are two rates of payment for each. The payment you receive will depend on the severity of your care needs:

Part 1 – Daily living part of Personal Independence Payment Part 2 – Mobility part of Personal Independence Payment
This is paid if you need help with personal care. This part is paid if you need help getting around.
The Personal Independence Payment rates currently are:

Standard rate – £55.10 per week
Enhanced rate – £82.30 per week

The Personal Independence Payment currently are:

Standard rate – £21.80 per week
Enhanced rate – £57.45 per week

Attendance allowance

If you are aged over 65 and need some support with your ongoing personal care or have a disability which means that you need regular supervision to avoid putting you in danger you may be entitled to claim the attendance allowance. The ability to claim an attendance allowance is not based on the care that you currently receive but the care that you need. Therefore, even if you do not currently receive any support from a carer, you may still be entitled to make a claim.

Here is a video from Age UK that provides you with a little more information.

The attendance allowance is a tax-free payment and is payable irrespective of your income or any savings that you may have.

How much can I receive?

How much you are entitled to claim depends on whether you need carer support in the day or in the night. Therefore, there is a lower rate for care help you need in the day and a higher rate for care help you in need at night. The attendance allowance rates for 2015/16 are:

Lower rate attendance allowance

Higher rate attendance allowance

£55.10 per week £82.30 per week

Other benefit entitlements to consider:

Other benefits you should look at include:

  • Council tax discounts and exemptions
  • State Pension and Pension Credit

Council tax discounts and exemptions

Depending on the benefits that you are claiming, you may be entitled to receive either a discount or exemption to your council tax. Additionally, if you have had to make any modifications to your home, to help give you a better quality of life, then you should not have to pay any extra council tax.

State Pension

Once you reach State Pension Age, and assuming you many have made the necessary national insurance contributions over your working life, you will be entitled to receive a State Pension. The amount you get will depend on how much you have paid in national insurance contributions.

The State Pension changed from April 2016 and here is a helpful video from Which explaining the changes.

Pension Credit

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit made up of two parts:

Part 1 – Guarantee Credit

Part 2 – Savings credit

Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income if it’s below £151.20 (for single people) or £230.85 (for couples). Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who saved some money towards their retirement, for example, by saving in to a pension.

Here’s a really useful video from Age UK which explains a little more about pension credits.

How you pay for your care is one of the most important decisions you make. The benefits and credits you are entitled to are only likely to go part of the way to meeting your care costs. Therefore, we would recommend that you speak to a financial advisor that specialises in care costs.


More helpful information

You can find more information other important topics in the boxes below.  In addition, we also have below a directory of professionals that can help you across a wide range of areas.

NHS Continuing Healthcare

The cost of care can be expensive.  Therefore, it is important that you find out if the NHS is responsible for paying for your care.  You can read more here.

Paying for Care

Benefits on their own may not be enough to pay for your care.  Therefore, you may need to fund some costs yourself.  Our section on paying for care provides more information on the issues you need to think through.

Professionals that can help you get NHS funding

We have a directory of professionals that can help you apply for NHS continuing healthcare or challenge a decision not to provide you with any funding.

Financial Advisors who can help you

We have a directory of specialist financial advisors who can help you work out what the best way is to fund your care.

Other Important Topics

As you move in to care, there are a wide range of issues you need to consider, such as writing a will or creating a lasting power of attorney.   Visit our information section here.

Calculate your care costs

Before going in to care its important that you have a good understanding of the likely costs.  You can use our calculator to estimate your care fees.