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JG1965 | 15:25 Mon 05th Nov 2012 | Business & Finance
14 Answers
My aunt receives £210 a week State Pension, after paying full national insurance all her working life, she is a widow and nearly 80. She lives in rented accommodation and gets Housing Benefit of £19.92 a week and does not have much in savings, she receives £35 a month from a private pension her husband had.
A friend recently visited her and was rattling of all the different help she receives. This friend owns a 4 bedroom house and is the same age as my aunt and she is getting another £70 a week on top of her State Pension from the Benefits Agency and only pays £40 a month Poll Tax, while my aunt is paying £72, they are also paying for a cleaner to come in twice a week, she is also applying for the Cold Weather Allowance.
With all the benefits she is receiving her income comes to more than my aunt, why is my aunt not entitled to any of these, she looked at the Cold Weather Allowance but she was not in receipt of any of the eligible benefits and her State Pension was above the limit, it does not seem fair.


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If she's in receipt of a state pension she is entitle to the winter fuel allowance.
And it's not means tested.
Its not really possible for us to comment on this because we haven't got all the info and neither have you. If your aunt would like to get her benefits reviewed, then she can get it done through IIRC the citizens' advice bureau.
But not necessarily the cold weather payments, which are means tested, though.

The friend is probably getting a smaller state pension.
Question Author
Yes, she already gets that, just can't understand how her friend gets so much help and my aunt does not. The Cold Weather allowance is a benefit people get of £25 a week in very cold weather.
I forgot to say my aunt had a slight stroke a couple of years ago.
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Thanks for the advice woofgang, I will get her to do that.
In any means tested benefit there is a cut off point and it is a fact that those whose income is even 1 penny above that point may be worse off than her neighbour whose income is 1 penny below it.
>>>and only pays £40 a month Poll Tax, while my aunt is paying £72

Anyone living on their own can claim for a reduction on their council tax.
also, there is no such thing as poll tax
If your aunt receives £210 a week that's already well above the state pension even if she gets full pension credit (which is unlikely given she also receives a private pension.)
She should go on this site to check on the potential benefits but I'd be surprised if she was missing out on anything significant except perhaps for single person discount on council tax

Information on what other people get isn't always reliable
As has already been said, we don't have all the facts. Your aunt definitely needs to get a benefits check from CAB.

So far as the friend is concerned, if she is getting £70 on top of her state Pension it almost certainly means her state pension is low - probably around £72 per week. Payment for a cleaner is nothing to do with benefits - if it is being paid by anyone (other than, possibly, a local charity) it will be social services, but I'm surprised if they are actually paying for that type of thing.
Hi JG, I'd like to know how your Aunt receives 210 a week State Pension, my Aunt is 62 and has paid a full stamp all her working life of 40 odd years and she only gets 115. perhaps you ought to keep quiet you might open a can of worms.
It sounds as if your aunt paid into serps and is therefore getting an earning related second pension, this added to her Company pension will take her over the income limits for any extra benefits. The size or value of the house is irrelevant as it is not taken into account.
Sounds like the friend is one of the asset rich cash poor pensioners.
I'd be very surprised if 14 years of SERPS bumped her pension up so much, especially if she was paying Married Womens' Reduced Rate NI, as most women her age would have done.

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