As Talk Money week comes to a close any older people across Wales are telling us they are extremely worried about how they are going to afford to heat their homes and put food on the table in the coming months, let alone socialise with family and friends. Many are being forced to risk their health by skipping meals, and switching off the lights, heating, and fridges in their homes. Some have even told us they are turning off medical support equipment to save on their energy bills.
Clearly older people are at the forefront of this cost-of-living crisis which is why Age Cymru is urging the new PM Rishi Sunak to reinstate the triple lock on state pensions – the mechanism by which the government raises the State Pension annually in line with either inflation, average earnings, or 2.5%; whichever is the greatest.
And with the Autumn statement just around the corner we are also calling on the PM to raise state benefits in line with inflation, currently running at approximately 10%. Older people tend to live on low fixed incomes, and few have the means to increase their incomes. They also spend a larger proportion of their money on basic items such as staple foods and heating costs; items that have rocketed in price with high inflation.
Claiming all your benefits and entitlements
As part of Talk Money Week (7 – 11 November 2022) we are have urged older people to check that they are claiming all their benefits and entitlements. Approximately £175m worth of benefits and entitlements goes unclaimed by older people in Wales each year.
Age Cymru operates an online benefits calculator that will provide an estimate of what benefits you could be entitled to claim. It is free to use and the details you provide are anonymous.
Before you start, make sure you have information about your savings, income, pensions, and existing benefits for you and your partner.
The charity’s More Money in Your Pocket guide provides details on all the benefits relating to your pension, your home, and your health and well-being. You can download it from our website free of charge or order a free copy from Age Cymru Advice.
Millions of pounds worth of benefits and entitlements go unclaimed each year in Wales, money that could provide crucial support in the current crisis. It seems some people are reluctant to claim, some are put off by the claims process – and others simply don’t know that they qualify for extra support. So, it’s well worth reading through this guide or speaking to one of our advisers to see whether you’re claiming all that you’re due. Last year, the Age Cymru partnership supported older people to claim more than £7.5 million pounds in benefits and entitlements.
Getting in touch
If you want to talk to Age Cymru’s expert advisers, in Welsh or English, call us on 0300 303 44 98. Age Cymru Advice is open between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. (Calls are charged at the same rate as a call to a standard 01 or 02 number. They will also be automatically included in any landline or mobile inclusive minutes package.)