Over-65s not checking entitlements to State Benefits

Around half of homeowners over the age of 65 have never checked whether they are entitled to State Benefits in addition to their State Pension, new research from HUB Financial Solutions has revealed.

The advisory firm’s study, which surveyed 1,004 over-65s in January, found that 48% of homeowners had never checked if they could be entitled to financial help, while 24% last checked more than one year ago.

In comparison, renters were far more likely to have checked their eligibility, with 29% reviewing the situation within the past 12 months. Only 14% of those renting their home said they had never checked.

Furthermore, the study found 29% of homeowners explicitly stated that they thought the value of their home meant they would not qualify for additional support – while 70% suggested they thought their income would probably disqualify them from receiving extra benefits.

HUB Financial Solutions managing director, Simon Gray, commented: “It is important that people do not automatically assume that owning their home means they are not entitled to State support.

“Benefits are in place to help people in all sorts of situations, whether they are having to care for a spouse or other relative, suffering from an illness or disability of their own, or entitled to a reduction in their Council Tax. Many people are missing out on benefits they are entitled to receive, and that extra income could make a big difference.”

Overall, the research found that 54% of renters were claiming State Benefits – five times the proportion of homeowners – while just 11% were receiving extra financial support.

HUB Financial Solutions also highlighted research from earlier this year that showed 46% of pensioner homeowners were not claiming any benefits despite being entitled to, and a further 18% were not claiming their full entitlement – with the average household missing out on an extra £1,614 a year.

“Year-on-year we find that the take up of key pensioner benefits is lower than it should be,” Gray added.

“We know many will be struggling on low incomes yet on average pensioner homeowners who are missing out on benefits are losing out on £1,614 each year. That money could make a significant difference to their quality of life in retirement.”

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