Specific benefits and payments only people over State Pension age can claim during retirement

Nearly 12.7 million people have now reached State Pension age across Great Britain, including over 1.1m living in Scotland. Many of those in retirement rely on the contributory benefit as their main source of income which now provides essential financial support of up to £884.80 every four weeks for 2.9m people in receipt of the New State Pension.

Some 9.7m retirees are receiving up to £678 every pay period through the Basic State Pension. For anyone approaching the official age of retirement, it is important to be aware of certain benefits you can claim from the DWP plus discounts on Council Tax, help with heating costs and more.

Similarly, those already receiving State Pension payments may not be aware of more than a dozen ways they might be able to boost their current income over the next few months. Pension Credit is worth £3,900 on average and currently takes around 50 working days to process, which would see first payments for successful claimants arrive before the end of August.

To make it easier for people to understand and claim these benefits, discounts or reductions, the MoneyHelper website has compiled a comprehensive list along with quick eligibility checks to ensure older people are accessing essential support in later life.

The easiest way to check eligibility for any benefit, discount or reduction is to use an online benefits calculator - find out more about these here.

If you have an older family member or friends who do not have access to the internet, or is not familiar with using a computer, give them a hand to ensure they are not missing out on additional financial support this year.

Benefits for people over State Pension age

Benefits and discounts available in retirement include:

  • State Pension

  • Pension Credit

  • Help with Council Tax

  • Help with heating costs

  • Health benefits

  • Travel and TV benefits

  • Benefits for war widows and widowers

An older man and woman are looking at a computer in their kitchen.
There are more than a dozen benefits and discounts available for men and women aged over 66. -Credit:Getty Images

State Pension

The State Pension gives you a regular taxable income for the rest of your life as soon as you reach State Pension age and make a claim for it. Some people choose to defer this while they continue to work.

It’s not means-tested, but the amount you get depends on how many qualifying years of National Insurance Contributions or credits you’ve built up. You need at least 10 years for any State Pension payment and around 35 for the maximum amount - this may be more for people who were 'contracted out', find out more here.

State Pension weekly payment rates 2024/35

  • Full New State Pension: £221.20

  • Full Basic State Pension (Category A or B): £169.50

Pension Credit

Pension Credit currently gives 1.4m people across the UK - including nearly 127,000 in Scotland - extra money to help with living costs if they are over State Pension age and on a low income. It is a ‘passport’ benefit providing on average more than £3,900 each year in financial support, acting as a ‘gateway’ to Council Tax discounts, help with housing costs and NHS discounts along with free TV Licences for the over-75s.

Try the Pension Credit Calculator on GOV.UK for yourself or a family member to make sure you’re receiving all the financial support you are entitled to. You can also call the Pension Credit helpline on 0800 99 1234.

Help with Council Tax

Whether you own your home or rent, you could be eligible for support from your local authority to help you pay your Council Tax. Contact your local council to ask about support with Council Tax - find out more here.

Insulation and heating schemes

The summer months are the best time to check for ways to get your home winter-ready.

There are a number of schemes that install insulation and heating improvements to make your home more energy efficient. You’re likely to be eligible if your home is poorly insulated or doesn’t have a working central heating system, and if you receive any of a range of income-related benefits including Pension Credit.

Find out more from Home Energy Scotland here or by calling 0808 808 2282.

Health benefits

Everyone in Scotland is entitled to free prescriptions. Find out more about free dental treatment and refunds for travel to hospital appointments here.

Disability and care benefits

A number of benefits are available to people who have disabilities, long-term health conditions or specific care needs.

These benefits include:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - if you’re under State Pension age, if you reached State Pension age while claiming PIP this will continue

  • Adult Disability Payment - replacing PIP for people living in Scotland

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) - you will need to have been already claiming this before you reached State Pension age

  • Attendance Allowance - if you’re over State Pension age and have not claimed DLA or PIP

We have dedicated sections on the Daily Record website for each of these benefits:

Travel concessions

If you are over 60 or disabled find out about travel concessions on the Transport Scotland website here.

Free passport

If you were born on or before September 2, 1929, and are a British national, you could be eligible for a free passport. Find out more and how to apply on the GOV.UK website here.

Free / Discounted TV Licence

You now have to pay for your TV licence unless you are getting Pension Credit. People over State Pension age may be able to get the TV Licence for half price if they are registered as severely sight-impaired or blind.

Check out the MoneyHelper Advice Service TV licence guide here to find out if you’re eligible.

Benefits for war widows and widowers

If your husband, wife or civil partner died or were injured or became ill as a result of their service in Her Majesty’s (HM) Armed Forces, or during a time of war before April 6, 2005, you might be entitled to a War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension.

If they died or sustained an injury or illness due to serving in a conflict after April 6, 2005, you might be entitled to compensation through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

Find out more about War widows and widowers’ pensions and compensation on the GOV.UK website here.

Medical costs for war pensioners

If you need medical treatment because you were disabled while serving in the Armed Forces, you could get help towards your medical costs for your accepted disability.

War Disablement Pension

If you were injured or disabled while serving in the Armed Forces before April 6, 2005, you can get extra help towards your pension. Find out more about War Disablement Pension on the GOV.UK website here .

Age Scotland also have a full list of benefits, discounts and support older people may be entitled to claim, find out more on their website here.

Join the Daily Record's WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages.