BENEFITS EXPERT: Incapacity Benefit has age limit

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My wife and I are both 69. My weekly pension is £275 a week and our savings are £65,000. I cannot believe that after working all my life I get no sort of help.

My wife does not claim her State Pension because when she reached pension age nine years ago she was already on Incapacity Benefit (IB).

She was told that she should stay on IB because she had only earned a State Pension of £34 a week which was not as much as her IB.

Incapacity Benefit is not payable after the person has reached pension age so I still do not understand how your wife can be receiving Incapacity Benefit when she has passed the upper age limit for it. Now both you and your wife are over pension age, she should be able to receive a basic State Pension based on your National Insurance. That should be 60% of yours. I suggest you take this matter up with the DWP.

It would appear with savings of £65,000 that your finances are too high for you to qualify for either Council Tax Benefit or Pension Credit.

My wife has the high rate of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Mobility and the low rate for care. We recently had a call from the company who did our cavity wall insulation who said we would qualify for a central heating boiler. When their man came to see us, however, he told us that she had to be receiving Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to qualify. How does she go about getting PIP?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults from April 2013. People already on DLA are being asked to claim PIP sometime in the future.

Grants for boilers are not part of the State Benefits scheme so they are not something that I know very much about. There are several schemes online dealing with boilers for people on low incomes. It appears that to qualify a person must be in receipt of a particular benefit but they seem to vary from site to site. For more information I would suggest you call the Age UK Helpline on 0800 169 2081.

We both receive PIP at the lower rates. Now that my sister in law is lending a hand with our care. Can we can qualify for extra assistance?

A person’s PIP score depends upon the help they need, rather than the number of people providing it. So there is no guarantee that the help from your sister in law would increase your award. Your claim would be treated completely afresh. So your money could go down!