Claiming Benefits can be an awesome challenge - especially for many pensioners or senior citizens. This is not to say that pensioners are stupid. far from it. More that the whole system for pensioners benefits entitlements is outdated and far from being user-friendly.
So, let's get away from all the drivel from the government, and those who hope to govern us. Experience has shown - certainly in the last ten or so years that 'sound-bites' and press conference utterances rarely convert into positive action.
On this page, we hope to help you firstly to realise what you are entitled to, and also how to claim that benefits entitlement. The benefits are there in place, but it is not in the treasury's interest to make claiming pensioner's benefits easy.
We will try to redress that balance in your favour.
We have been prompted to write this page and help section about pensioners claiming benefits, by a new report published today (January 2010) by Housing 21. In the report it is claimed that little has been done - by this government - over the last six years to improve the claiming system for pensioners to get the benefits that they are entitled to.
It also states that the government - New Labour - should get a grip in this area and put it right. It is a statement that echoes from the past - from agencies, and of course promises by the government to sort it all out.
It is short-sighted in the overall economy, for if pensioners were aware and HELPED to claim what they NEED, then it would take a lot of pressure off many public services and also cares etc etc etc. If we had a truly 'joined-up' government system - (remember the promises?) then society as a whole would benefit from caring properly for our aging population.
This, and 'governments in waiting' are committed to cutting the massive public spending budget. We have heard it all before, but now it a pressing reality. Will the cuts come at the top end of the public purse, or the bottom end, comprising 'help staff'. You guess!
The Department for Work and Pensions showed the numbers of pensioners in the poverty zone during year 2006 rose to 2.5million pensioners! A rise of 300,000!
There is probably in the region of £5bn. (Five Billion Pounds - £5,000,000,000) unclaimed annually. That works out at around £500.00 for each pensioner in the UK! In reality, some pensioners will not be entitled to anything, others maybe several hundreds or more pounds! So, the money is there. How do pensioners get it?
'Means-tested benefits for pensioners is far too complex. Help the Aged says that claiming benefits via the means-tested Pension Credit and Housing benefits system is 'incredibly complicated!' This leads to millions of our pensioners not claiming their rights - AND NEEDS - for whatever reason. What is really sickening, is that more often or not - spread across many government departments - the information required is already there on an assortment of computer networks. The payments you are entitled to could be made automatically - at a huge saving to us, the taxpayers.
What Are you Entitled to? - A full listing of benefits for seniors or pensioners, with full advice on how to claim for them.
Contains Public Sector Information under the Open Government Licence v3.0.