I have decided to start a thread about welfare benefits for older people. It may we’ll go on over several months as it is a large issue and to many people, including me, an unfathomable subject. Nonetheless it potentially offers vital financial support to many people.
What interests me is how anybody expects older people to find their way around such a complicated system. Or maybe, if they are the Government who is dishing out, they don’t? The take-up of benefits is renowned for being low, especially by the poorest pensioners, who the benefits are supposed to be helping. Various commentators estimate the under-claiming of pensioners benefits to be between £3 billion and £5.5 billion annually. A pot of gold for the old at the end of a reluctant rainbow!
So I kicked off my research with my IPad, because all Government information is on-line these days. A visit to the Government’s website on benefits has 5,772 pages ! That should be a quick read.
Perhaps it is not surprising, because the Government spends £264 billion on benefits every year, which is 34% of all Government spending. Not all of it is spent on pensioners, but a lot of it is.
A graphic I found on the Office of National Statistics website gave a breakdown of the budget figures :-
- £111 billion on pensions
- £30 billion on Personal Social Services
- £44 billion on disability benefits
- £10 billion on Elderly Care Payments
- the remainder is Housing Benefit and other benefits.
SO HOW DO YOU GET IT ? That will be my challenge in the weeks / months ahead. I will report on my progress each week.