More than £5 billion of means-tested benefits go unclaimed by older people every year but your own individual entitlements are best discussed with an advisor from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.  The local office is in Kirkintilloch with outreach in other areas of East Dunbartonshire.

Making Plans for the Future as soon as possible after your diagnosis is very important.  Later on in your illness you may no longer be able to make certain arrangements.  Making plans for your personal welfare and finances includes appointing a Power of Attorney, making an Advance Statement, which includes your care preferences, and arranging your will.  Making plans for the future should include care decisions and finding out about any benefits you are entitled to.

It is a good idea to avoid keeping large amounts of cash in the house.  You can simplify your financial arrangements by paying bills by direct debit or standing order. If you do not have a continuing Power of Attorney, you can still get help from someone you trust to manage your money.  For example, someone can become an appointee to collect and manage your state benefits; this means that someone can collect your benefits or cash cheques on your behalf.

If you have dementia you may be eligible for Attendance Allowance, or (if under 65) Personal Independence Payment. Carers may also be eligible for benefits see Carers UK information on Carers Allowance. If you have dementia and are in receipt of Attendance Allowance you may also be eligible for a discount or exemption in your Council Tax.

Trust/Hanover (Scotland) / Bield Housing Associations have produced this Easy Guide to Benefits for the 60+ to help older people and their family/carers find out which benefits they may be entitled to. Age Scotland also has useful information on Claiming Benefits and Entitlements.