If you are over 60 or have a partner over 60, you may be able to claim Retirement Pension (based on your national insurance contributions), and or Pension Credit (an income-based benefit which looks at any other income you have). However, you may have to wait until you are older to claim these benefits. This is because state pension age is changing. Retirement pension is based on your state pension age and pension credit depends on state pension age for a woman born on the same date as you (even if you are not a woman).
You can check your state pension age on the GOV.UK website using the State Pension age calculator.
There are also other benefits which may apply depending on your circumstances, for example Housing Benefit if you pay rent, council tax reduction if you pay council tax, and Attendance Allowance if you have care needs and are over 65.
If you are below Pension Credit age and you make a new claim for Housing Benefit or tax credits, you will be told to claim Universal Credit instead. For any new applications as a couple for Pension Credit after 15th May 2019, you may also have to claim Universal Credit if as part of a couple only one of you is above the Pension Credit qualifying age – see GOV.UK guidance for more information.
If you help care for a child, but you don’t claim benefits for them, you may still be able to get help with national insurance credits, if you need them (this won’t apply if you are already at the age you can claim retirement pension). Have a look at National insurance for parents and carers for more information about this. If you care for someone (a child or adult) who gets a disability benefit, you may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance, but you can’t get this paid in full at the same time as retirement pension. It may still be worth claiming because it can mean you get more help in income-based benefits like Pension Credit.
To find out more about all these benefits and to check what other benefits you may be able to claim, you could use a tool such as the benefits checker on the websites Entitledto or Turn2us. You can also get advice from, for example, a Citizens Advice or from Age UK.
This advice applies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you live in another part of the UK, the law may differ. Please call our helpline for more details.
If you have further questions and would like to contact our advice team please use our advice contact form below or call us.