From the age of 66, men and women in the UK are deemed to be at pensionable age and are entitled to claim their state pension. The amount of money you will have is based on the qualifying years of National Insurance contributions you have made throughout your life. However, there are a number of different ways you might have built up your payments to your National Insurance including:
- Earning over £183 per week from your employment
- Paying your contributions with a self-employed income
- Voluntarily paying NI contributions to cover any gaps in your record
- You have received specific benefits
A few examples of the benefits you could have been receiving that would have been added to your National Insurance records and helped you gain government benefits for 60-year-olds are:
- Child Benefit (including disabled child benefit)
- Jobseekers Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance (or other attendance allowances)
Often this won’t include housing benefit or council tax contributions, but you could speak to your local authority or energy supplier, and they will provide you with a decision for your personal circumstances if you are not sure.
What benefits could you access if you are over 60?
It can be quite tricky to find out exactly what benefits you can get when you reach pensionable age. The government benefits for over 60s that we can help you with, is getting your home heated better. All of the schemes we refer to below don’t normally include benefits for those in residential care. However, it is advised that you contact Age UK for their pensions advice and home living arrangements.
There are many advantages to being a senior citizen living in the UK such as the ability to claim things like travel discounts and other transport concessions like bus passes and rail cards, discounted health treatments like dental care and eye tests, cinema tickets, and much more. For now, though, let’s focus on the schemes that are available for improving your home and its heating system.
What is the ECO scheme?
A lot of energy companies across the country have signed up for government schemes that allow qualifying low-income and vulnerable households to claim free energy efficient heating improvements in their properties, like getting a heat pump or insulation. As well as helping households this also means the government can reach its goal of reducing carbon emissions nationally and ensuring we achieve net zero emissions by 2050 to reduce our impact on climate change. The biggest and most well-known government scheme designed to provide more efficient heating measures is called the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme.
Benefits of the ECO scheme:
- You can have an old and inefficient heating system replaced completely for free.
- The grant never has to be paid back.
- You can help to reduce carbon emissions and fight global warming and climate change.
- The work will be carried out by certified, reliable, and trustworthy installers like the company we put you in contact with.
- The new energy efficient measure (e.g., air source or ground source heat pump) will help to keep your home warmer and save you money on your energy bills.
Are there any other government benefits for 60-year-olds that focus on heating homes?
Yes, there are multiple benefits for older residents that are in place to ensure you can stay warm during the cold winter months.
Winter Fuel Payment
If you are claiming state pension credits or other benefits, you will likely get a sum of money automatically to help you with winter heating costs, and it’s tax-free. You are eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment if you were born on or before 5th January 1954 and it doesn’t matter if you get a benefit pension or other benefits as well.
Cold Weather Payment
Another benefit that is open to over 60’s is the cold weather payment. This means if the temperature is lower than 0 degrees for seven days in a row between 1st November and 31st March, you will receive an extra £25 payment.