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Benefits For People Living With Dementia

Benefits for people living with dementia

Learn about the benefits you could be entitled to as a carer or as a person living with dementia

The benefits system can provide financial support for people living with dementia. This page will give you an idea of the main benefits you may be entitled to as a person over State Pension age living with dementia, or as a carer. State Pension age was 66 in October 2020 and is increasing to 67 by 2028.

Download your copy of Benefits For People Living With Dementia

About Benefits

Benefits you are entitled to could help with the additional costs of living with dementia such as care or travel costs or provide support if you are a carer. Benefit rates change from time to time, usually in April of each year. The figures given in this guide apply from April 2021 to the end of March 2022.

For advice about entitlements and a benefits check call the Age Scotland helpline on 0800 12 44 222.

Pension Credit

Pension Credit is a benefit that can give you extra money if you are living on a low income and you and your partner are both State Pension age. It comes in two parts – Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. You might be eligible for one part or both. There is no savings limit for Pension Credit, but if you have capital over £10,000 your Pension Credit will be reduced.

Guarantee Credit will top up your income to a minimum level of £177.10 per week if you are single and £270.30 if you are a couple. You may receive an extra amount of Pension Credit if you receive Attendance Allowance, the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance or a care element of Personal Independence Payment. You may also receive an extra amount if the benefits system recognises you as a carer.

Pension Credit can provide access to help with your mortgage interest in the form of a loan secured on your home. Savings Credit is extra money you may be entitled to if you have some savings. You can only claim if you are 65 or over and you and your partner reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016. 

Making a claim for Pension Credit

To claim Pension Credit, contact the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234 or visit the Pension Service page on GOV.uk. If you need help with filling in a form, call the Age Scotland Helpline on 0800 12 44 222 for a referral to the Department for Work and Pensions home visiting service or for contact details of a local benefits advice agency which can help you.

Attendance Allowance

You may be able to claim Attendance Allowance if dementia has affected your ability to look after yourself and you need extra help. Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people who are State Pension age who have a disability or health condition which means that they need care or supervision.

The age when you can claim Attendance Allowance will change as State Pension age increases. You can apply for Attendance Allowance regardless of how much income or savings you have. You must normally have needed care or supervision for 6 months before your award can begin; if you are terminally ill and are not expected to live more than six months you can make a claim straight away.

There are two rates of Attendance Allowance:

1. a lower rate of £60 per week if you need help during the day OR during the night
2. a higher rate of £89.60 per week if you need help both day AND night
You do not have to spend the money on care. You can decide
to spend it on anything you want.

For more detailed information on Attendance Allowance, please consult the above guide.

Making a Claim for Attendance Allowance

To claim Attendance Allowance. phone the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 or visit the GOV.uk Attendance Allowance page.

If you need help with filling in a form, phone the Age Scotland helpline on 0800 12 44 222 for a referral to the Department for Work and Pensions home visiting service (only available for emergencies during coronavirus restrictions) or for contact details of a local advice agency which can help you.

Within the next few years Attendance Allowance will be replaced by a new payment from Social Security Scotland for people making a claim for the first time. Call the Age Scotland helpline for more information.

Carer’s Allowance

If you care for someone living with dementia who receives Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance care component (middle or highest rate) or Personal Independence Payment daily living component (at either rate) you might qualify for Carer’s Allowance. Carer’s Allowance is £67.60 per week but ‘overlaps’ with State Pension. If your State Pension is less than £67.60, you can claim Carer’s Allowance to top it up to £67.60. If your State Pension is higher than £67.60 you will not be paid
Carer’s Allowance, but extra money might be added to any income-related benefits you get, such as Pension Credit or Housing Benefit because of ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance.

Claiming Carer’s Allowance can lead to the person you care for receiving less in income-related benefits, such as Pension Credit. You should get advice about this before making a claim. To qualify for Carer’s Allowance, you must spend at least 35 hours a week caring for the person. This might include helping them wash and dress, develop a routine, or reminders to take medication.

In Scotland, most people who receive Carer’s Allowance also receive an automatic 6 monthly top-up payment from the Scottish Government. This payment is called Carer’s Allowance Supplement. Carers Allowance will be replaced by a new benefit for carers in Scotland over the next few years. Any changes will be reported on this page as they are announced.

More information about Carer's Allowance

You can find out more about Carer’s Allowance Supplement from Social Security Scotland by calling 0800 182 2222.

To claim Carer’s Allowance phone the Carers Allowance Unit to ask for a claim form on 0800 731 0297 or visit www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/how-to-claim

For more information on Carer’s Allowance, you can also call the
Age Scotland Helpline on 0800 12 44 222 for free advice.

Help with rent and council tax

If you have a low income and modest savings, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit for help with your rent and Council Tax Reduction for paying your Council Tax bill. You claim these benefits from your local council.

If you are receiving Pension Credit Guarantee Credit you will be entitled to the full amount of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction unless other people live with you. You may also qualify for help with your Council Tax bill which is not means tested. See the Age Scotland Council Tax page for more information.

Further Information on Benefits

If you would like more information on benefits, including benefits
for people of working age, call the Age Scotland Helpline on 0800 12 44 222 or see Age Scotland’s Benefits page.

Dementia resources

Find out more about Age Scotland's work and services to support people affected by dementia.

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