PLEASE NOTE: any payment you receive from the Welsh Infected Blood Support Scheme will not to be taken into account when calculating your entitlement to the benefits discussed within this section. However, you are still required to declare to DWP any payments that you receive from the scheme. For more information please see the detailed guidance here.

 

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance (AA) is a benefit for people aged 65 or over who have problems looking after themselves because of an illness or disability. Your income and savings will not affect your claim if you are awarded Attendance Allowance, and any award will not reduce your other benefits.

Attendance Allowance is paid at one of two rates found here.

Attendance Allowance is based on the amount of care you need, not the amount of care you get at the moment. You do not need to have a carer to be able to get this benefit. You must have had these problems for at least six months. However there is a fast track process called ‘Special Rules’ if you are terminally ill, please get in touch for further advice regarding this.

To claim, you can call the Department for Work and Pensions’ Attendance Allowance helpline on 0345 605 6055 or use textphone 0345 604 5312 and ask them to send you a form. You can also download and print an application form at gov.uk. As AA applications can often be lengthy and must be completed within six weeks, please contact your WIBSS welfare rights adviser as soon as possible if you require any assistance or guidance.

State Pension

The State Pension is a regular payment for those that have reached the applicable age. Currently the state pension age varies for men and women.

At present this is 65 for men and is increasing gradually to 65 for women by November 2018. After this, the State Pension for both men and women will increase in stages, reaching 67 by 2028. To check when you will reach the applicable age you can call the Future Pension Centre on 0345 3000 168, or check gov.uk.

The amount you will receive depends on when you reached State Pension age.

You do not have to claim the new State Pension as soon as you reach State Pension age. By choosing to claim later, you could get more money when you do claim.

Pension Credit

If you have a low income, Pension Credit is designed to top up your weekly income. It is split into two parts;

  • Guarantee Credit which increases your weekly income if it is below a certain amount. You may get extra, higher payments if you are a carer or have a severe disability.
  • Savings Credit for people who have saved some money towards their retirement (for example in a personal pension).

The amount you will receive may increase if you are a carer, or have a disability. However for indicative purposes, below are the rates from April 2017 – 2018.

Rate Weekly Guarantee Credit
Single People Whatever amount is needed to increase your weekly income to at least £159.35
Couples Whatever amount is needed to increase your weekly income to at least £243.25

To apply call the Pension Credit claim line on 0800 99 1234, textphone 0800 169 0133 or visit gov.uk.

Housing Benefit

You can claim Housing Benefit whether you live in social housing, a housing association property or privately rented housing.

The amount you get will depend on things such as:

  • where you live
  • your age
  • how many bedrooms you have
  • who lives with you
  • your savings
  • what benefits you receive

If your rent is higher than the amount of Housing Benefit you get, you will have to pay the difference. You may be able to get a Discretionary Housing Payment to help with this.

You must contact your local council in order to apply for Housing Benefit or a Discretionary Housing Payment; details of your awarding authority can be found here. Alternatively if you need assistance or advice, speak to your welfare rights adviser by contcting us here.

Mortgage Help

You might be able to get extra help with your mortgage interest payments if you claim:

  • Pension Credit

These benefits may also cover other housing costs, such as service charges and ground rent. If you have these costs, you should apply for help through your benefit.

Since April 2016, there has been a waiting time of 39 weeks (around nine months) between first claiming the benefits we have listed above and being able to access the extra help with housing costs.

From April 2018, the way support with mortgage interest is paid will be changing. It will change from a benefit to a long-term loan. If you claim support with mortgage interest, you will be contacted about this change.

Council Tax Reduction

Designed to replace Council Tax Benefit, Council Tax Reduction provides help towards the cost of your council tax if you are on a low income. The amount of support available in Wales is the same across the country, however you will need to contact your local authority in order to claim. Details of your authority can be found here.