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Benefits for someone living with dementia

Benefits for someone living with dementia

The benefits system can provide financial support for people living with dementia. This page will give you an idea of the main benefits you may be entitled to as a person over State Pension age living with dementia, or as a carer. State Pension age is currently 66, and is planned to gradually increase to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

About Benefits

Benefits you are entitled to could help with the additional costs of living with dementia such as care or travel costs or provide support if you are a carer. Benefit rates change from time to time, usually in April of each year. 

For advice about entitlements and a benefits check call the Age Scotland helpline on 0800 12 44 222.

Pension Credit

Pension Credit is a benefit that can give you extra money if you are living on a low income and you and your partner are both State Pension age. It comes in two parts – Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. You might be eligible for one part or both. There is no savings limit for Pension Credit, but if you have capital over £10,000 your Pension Credit will be reduced.

Guarantee Credit will top up your income to a minimum level set each year by the UK Government. You may be entitled to a higher amount of Pension Credit if you receive Attendance Allowance, the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance or a care element of Adult Disability Payment or Personal Independence Payment. You may also receive an extra amount if the benefits system recognises you as a carer, you are responsible for a child or children, or you have certain housing costs such as occupancy or service charges.

If you receive Pension Credit and own your own home, you may be entitled to Support for Mortgage Interest, to help with the interest payments on your mortgage or home improvement loan. Support for Mortgage is in the form of a loan secured on your home, that must be repaid with interest either when your property is sold, its ownership is transferred, or it forms part of your estate after your death.

Savings Credit is extra money you may be entitled to if you have some money put aside in the form of savings or a private pension. You can only claim it if you are 65 or over and you and your partner reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016. 

To claim Pension Credit, contact the Department for Work and Pensions on 0800 99 1234 or visit the website. If you need help with filling in a form, call the Age Scotland Helpline on 0800 12 44 222 for a referral to the Department for Work and Pensions home visiting service, or for contact details of a local benefits advice agency that can help you.

Making a claim for Pension Credit

Pension Credit on

Attendance Allowance

You may be able to claim Attendance Allowance if dementia has affected your ability to look after yourself and you need extra help. Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people who are State Pension age, currently 66, who have a disability or health condition which means that they need care or supervision.

You can apply for Attendance Allowance regardless of how much income or savings you have. You must normally have needed care or supervision for 6 months before your award can begin; if you are terminally ill and are not expected to live for more than twelve months you can ask your medical professional to complete an SR1 form, and make a claim straight away.

There are two rates of Attendance Allowance:

1. a lower rate if you need help during the day OR during the night
2. a higher rate if you need help both day AND night
You do not have to spend the money on care. You can decide to spend it on anything you want.

For more detailed information on Attendance Allowance, see our Attendance Allowance guide.

Making a Claim for Attendance Allowance

To claim Attendance Allowance. phone the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 to request an application form. 

If you need help with filling in a form, phone the Age Scotland helpline on 0800 12 44 222 for a referral to the Department for Work and Pensions home visiting service, or for contact details of a local advice agency who can help you.

Starting with a pilot scheme in autumn 2024, Attendance Allowance will be replaced by a new payment from Social Security Scotland called Pension Age Disability Payment for people making a claim for the first time. People who are already claiming Attendance Allowance will gradually be moved over to the new benefit. You won't need to do anything, and your payments will remain the same. Call the Age Scotland helpline for more information.

Visit - Attendance Allowance

Carer’s Allowance and Carer Support Payment

If you care for someone living with dementia, who receives Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance care component (middle or highest rate) or Personal Independence Payment daily living component (at either rate), you may qualify for Carer’s Allowance or Carer Support Payment.

Carer Support Payment is replacing Carer's Allowance for people who live in Scotland. A pilot scheme is currently running, covering some areas of the country. To find out which one you should claim, visit Social Security Scotland's postcode checker

Carer’s Allowance and Carer Support Payment have a complicated relationship with other benefits. They overlaps with State Pension, meaning you won't receive a payment if your State Pension is more than the current Carer's Allowance and Carer Support Payment rate. However, it may still be worth applying, as you may have an 'underlying entitlement'. This can increase the amount you receive in means-tested benefits like Pension Credit, or give you an entitlement you wouldn't otherwise have. 

Claiming Carer’s Allowance can reduce the amount of benefit received by the person you provide care for, if they have a Severe Disability Premium included in any of their benefits. You should get advice about this before making a claim. 

In Scotland, most people who receive Carer’s Allowance also receive an automatic 6 monthly top-up payment from the Scottish Government. This payment is called Carer’s Allowance Supplement. 

More information about Carer's Allowance and Carer Support payment

To claim Carer’s Allowance, call the Carers Allowance Unit to ask for a claim form on 0800 731 0297 or visit

To claim Carer Support Payment, call Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222 or visit

For a benefit check, or more information about benefits, call our helpline on 0800 12 44 222. 

Help with rent and Council Tax

If you have a low income and modest savings, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit to help with your rent and Council Tax Reduction to help with your Council Tax bill. You claim these benefits from your local council.

If you are receiving Pension Credit Guarantee Credit you will be entitled to the full amount of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction unless other people live with you. 

There are several types of Council Tax help, some of which are means-tested and some that are not. To find out what you may be eligible for, visit Citizens Advice Scotland's Check My Council Tax tool, or see our Council Tax and Council Tax Reduction guide. 

Further Information on Benefits

If you would like more information on benefits, including benefits
for people of working age, call the Age Scotland Helpline on 0800 12 44 222 or visit our Money and Benefits information pages.

Dementia resources

Find out more about Age Scotland's work and services to support people affected by dementia.

You can also order paper copies of our guides

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