Care Questions : Article 11

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.11

"What is Pension Credit and how can you apply for it?"

Answer : In October 2003 Pension Credit became a new entitlement for people aged 60 and over. It guarantees everyone above this age an income of at least £102.10 per week for single people and £155.80 a week if you have a partner.

To see if you are entitled to Pension Credit you need to add up your weekly net income. Only certain types of income count and these include any pension money, some benefits such as Carer's Allowance and Bereavement Benefits. There are however some types of income that you do not need to include, e.g. Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Your savings will also form part of the equation. £1.00 a week is added to your income for every £500.00 or part of £500.00 of any savings over £6000.00. Other savings and investments are also taken into account.

People over the age of 60 will be contacted by the Pension Service giving details of how to apply if you are eligible. However, if you have not received such information then you can ring 0800 99 1234 free phone Pension Credit and you can complete an application form over the telephone. It will then be sent to you for signature. If you have speech or hearing difficulties then the number to telephone is 0800 169 0133. You can also obtain an application form in your Post Office.

Before telephoning or applying you will need to know your National Insurance Number and have information about your income and any savings ready.

If you are aged above 65 and have saved for your old age, you may still be eligible for some additional money through Pension Credit. Give the free phone number a call to find out.



"Do you know of an organisation that arranges tours to the battlefields /graveyards of World War Two?"

Answer : There may be other companies but one that I do know of is The War Research Society who offer such tours. The company is based in Birmingham. and can be contacted for further details by telephoning 0121 430 5348 or you can fax them on 0121 436 7401.



"I have a grandson who is registered as disabled. Are there any organisations which have information especially for grandparents of disabled children?"

Answer : There are organisations such as Contact A Family which provides support, advice and information for grandparents of disabled children. They have a helpline on 0808 808 3555 which is open between the hours of 10.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday.



"I have swollen feet and I find it difficult to obtain comfortable and appropriate shoes. Do you know of any companies which manufacture footwear that may be suitable?"

Answer : There are several companies which do make a range of footwear for swollen feet but I think the best place to start is to contact The Clothing and Footwear Advisory Service. They are based at The Disabled Living Foundation, 380-384 Harrow Road, London. Tel. 020 7289 6111.

Not only can they advise you of manufacturers but they offer advice and guidance on choosing footwear for swollen feet, how to help your swollen feet on a daily basis and general helpful tips. If you have access to the internet you may wish to visit their web site at http://www.dlf.org.uk



"My husband and I are pensioners. I am in good health but my husband is disabled. We have not had a holiday for a few years but would like to have one this coming summer. I have looked in various brochures but what appears to be suitable for me is not appropriate for my husband and his disability. Do you know of a company which can help us?"

Answer : Holiday Care is a travel and information service especially for disabled and older people who wish to take a holiday. They can provide details of accessible accommodations and attractions to visit. If you become a Member of Holiday Care you can access hotel discounts, receive a quarterly newsletter and notification of other special offers from time to time. They can be contacted on 0845 124 9971.

If however you know where you would like to go, you can contact a charity called TRIPSCOPE. This charity can provide free information and advice on travel and transport for older and disabled people. They do not operate a travel agency but act as an information centre. They can be contacted on 08457 585 641



"My husband and I have a static mobile home which we have used for holidays for several years and we understood we did not need a television licence. We are now selling our bungalow and making this our permanent home. However, we are now told we do need to have a television licence, why is this?"

Answer : Whilst your mobile home was not your main residence you did not require a licence as you were covered by the licence you had bought for your main residence, your bungalow. Now, as you will no longer have your bungalow and your mobile home will be your main residence, you will need to get one by law.