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Provided by Mae Stewart, Editor UNISON Retired members Newsletter, Dundee, Perth and Angus.
Please note that this is not definitive information about benefits but will provide a signpost as to where to get up to date information. Please check the sources first. UNISON Scotland can take no responsibility for information that may be outdated or inaccurate.

Issue 23 December 2008

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HollyMay I take this opportunity to wish all Unison Members a very Merry Christmas and the best of New Years. I hope 2009 will bring real peace on Earth.

All the best!

Mae Stewart [Dundee & Angus Branch - Retired Members]


Members Information

‘The information below was extracted from a booklet provided by HelptheAged called ‘Can You Claim it, and covers April 2008 – April 2009. I say this over and over again, but if you feel you are entitled to help that you are not receiving then you should pick up the phone. As usual the information is too much to put into the newsletter, but can be accessed via the internet or by calling Seniorline at HelptheAged.’
My apologies for any misquotes’. Mae Stewart
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Claiming Pension Credit and other benefits Advice for older people

7 April 2008–5 April 2009

The details in this leaflet should be correct from 7 April 2008to 5 April 2009. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this leaflet is correct. However, things do change, so it is always a good idea to seek expert advice on your personal situation. You can check if there have been changes by calling: SeniorLine on 0808 800 6565

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Financial leaflets

Can You Claim It?; Check Your Tax ; Claiming Disability Benefits; Questions on Pensions; Thinking About Money; Making a Will; Housing and home safety leaflets; Care Homes; Computers and the Internet; Fire; Help in Your Home; Housing Matters; Keep Out the Cold; Your Safety; Your Security; Health leaflets; Bereavement; Better Hearing; Better Sight; Elder Abuse; Healthy Bones; Healthy Eating; Keeping Mobile; Managing Your Medicines; Staying Steady.

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Help the Aged produces a range of free advice leaflets for older people


Can you claim Pension Credit?; Can you claim Council Tax Benefit?; Can you claim Housing Benefit?; Help with other expenses; Can you claim a Funeral Payment?; Can you claim a Social Fund payment?; Can you claim help with health costs?; Can you get extra money in winter?.

If you live in England,Wales or Scotland, claims for Pension Credit are dealt with by The Pension Service; 0845 60 60 265.

You can check your entitlement to Pension Credit and other means-tested benefits online at: www.entitledto.com and: www.thepensionservice.gov.uk.

Help the Aged produces other leaflets which you may find useful: for example, Claiming Disability Benefits, Questions on Pensions and information sheet no. 8, Council Tax.

This leaflet does not apply to people in care homes.

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Can you get extra money in winter?

If you get any Pension Credit, you will get an extra payment each complete week that the weather is very cold. This Cold Weather Payment is £8.50 a week and is made for any period of seven days when the temperature is freezing or below, or it is forecast to be that cold. This payment will be sent automatically – you do not have to claim it.

Every household which includes someone aged 60 or more will get a Winter Fuel Payment this winter to help with their fuel bills. The payment is £200, with an additional amount of £50 if there is someone aged at least 60 in the house; or £300, with an additional amount of £100 if there is someone aged at least 80.You need to be 60 before or during the week.

The qualifying date is 21 September 2008 so the £400 payment is made if the oldest person was born on 21 September 1928 or earlier and it is £250if the oldest person was born on 21 September 1948 or earlier. It should be paid before Christmas, directly into your bank or

building society account, or by cheque sent to your home.The additional amounts are only for this year: 2008–09.Your household may get more than these amounts if there are more than two people aged 60 or more, or if two or more people are making separate claims for Pension Credit [a couple receiving Pension Credit only counts as one joint claim].

The Winter Fuel Payment is not means-tested or taxable. Nor does it count as ‘capital’ when you come to work out your entitlement to the benefits explained in this leaflet. Most people will receive their Winter Fuel Payment automatically without making a claim. But people aged 60–64 who do not get a State Retirement Pension or certain other benefits should claim the Winter Fuel Payment. You don’t have to be receiving any particular benefit to get a Winter Fuel Payment – you qualify simply by your age.

Up to 40,000 people of this age do not get the payment each year.

If you think you qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment but it has not arrived by the middle of December 2008, call the Winter Fuel Payments Helpline on:

08459 15 15 15.

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