Reluctant Welfare Benefits

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.


This entry was posted in ELDERLY UK POLICY and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Reluctant Welfare Benefits

  1. As your student i am left contemplating my navel?
    You sit o mighty one on your cushion on the floor, full of good intent and the sayings and utterances of “Zen”: However i am lost in a fog or sea or “”see”” of informationd!
    I am intrigued by your subject matter of today,, but alas when one negotiates the feild of statistic and government information i am but a poor innocent bystander.
    I have found a uk dotcom site of information alleging to be only 2725? Pages long , and information pertinent to pensioners, and benifits in old age endless, but no simple “”pie chart”?
    Dear master youhave started ori initiated challenge if you wish to make or help us understand, what government policy in old age is to become for those new pensioners, and existing pensioners amongst us!
    All i hear and see in the media is austerity,cuts cuts, cuts to spending, and local councillors blaming central westminister politicians for lack of funds!!! And no one mentions the elephant in the room? The majority og the uk population are now or will become pensioners??? We cannot “”-cry wolf-” and yet not expect some wag to cut benifits for the pensioners, and then “TAX” them for the luxaries of life? Living the life of riley as retired persons.
    It is a bugger what does one do forthe best?? I will have to sit with you oh master and contemplare?
    Of your 5000+pages of info obviously i have more to study! Pass me the rum bottle, so i can dull my senses?? Oh! Oh! Oh!

  2. Another view on this complexity of financial picture of help for the elderly, is besides the pounds shillings and pence, is the aid which is offered to the elderly, by charities, support groups, and old fashioned friends and neighbours, and the families or extended families.
    Here i am not on about what is expected or demanded by the individuals or society: However we are all becoming older, and the elderly group, or society i witness, and belong too, then we the 70+,s are becoming more considerate and vounteering to help in local societies where possible.
    The tasks have to be within the physical abilities and mental capacites of our age group, in offering. Assistance. The greatest pleasure is in an environmental of social gatherings, such that joint and common activities where we can meet be stimulated and chat while undertaking a common activity.
    This may seem grandious, however the reward is a smile and a thank you goes a long way.
    The financial packages you highlight i sincerely believe are for those social support to give security, heat, lighting and nourishment for the body. A aspect missing from all the monies is that of mental and social well being in being or belonging to a community, as a valued person, whether one lives alone inones house,or a retirement home, residential home, nursing home, or a complex defined as a “”retirement village””.
    The old adage what one puts in one gets out ? So good thoughts and deeds please? It makes us all a more amenable society that one could look at inthe face!!

    • john graham says:

      You make a very good point. It is not all about money. Individuals can give some of their time to helping others and many do. The benefits system should be directed at ensuring that everyone’s basic needs are met —— food, heat and a roof over their heads.
      Sadly the State cannot provide neighbourliness, nor does it cherish the value of volunteering.

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