Can I claim any benefits for caring for my grandchildren?

Question

I am 60 years old and have given up work in order to care for my grandchildren so that their parents can both work.

Are there any benefits I am entitled to claim?

GC/Huddersfield

Answer

I’m afraid I would need to know a lot more about your circumstances to be able to tell you what you are entitled to claim.

But you can find out for yourself very easily.The benefits calculator at charity Turn2us.org.uk will show you what you are entitled to and how to claim it.

Although you have given up work to look after your grandchildren, you will not be able to claim child-related state benefits if their parents are receiving child benefit or child tax credit.

As well as possible state benefits, you may be eligible for additional support from a grant-giving charity. You can check by using the grants search facility at Turn2us.org.uk.

Moneywise says:

Once you reach the age of 60, any medicine prescribed by a doctor is free anywhere in the UK.

Until that age, prescriptions are free in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but those living in England pay £8.40 per prescription.

If you’re living in Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland, you can get free bus travel if you’re over 60. In Northern Ireland, you may get cheaper rates on other sorts of public transport, too.

 

In England, you can get a bus pass for free travel when you reach the female state pension age, whether you’re a man or a woman. You can tap in your details at Gov.uk/apply-for-elderly-person-bus-pass to find out if you qualify.

If you live in London, you can travel free on buses, tubes and other transport when you’re 60, but only within London.

Also, from the age of 60, you will be eligible to buy a Senior Persons Railcard from National Rail for travel across the UK, which gives you a third off all off-peak rail travel for a year for £30.

David Samson
David Samson is a welfare specialist at Turn2us.

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