Cost of Living Help for Pensioners in Redbridge
The Cost-of-Living crisis has hit pensioners especially hard. Below are a number of services that can help.
Earlier this year, the Benefit service partnered with Age UK Redbridge, Barking and Havering and wrote to over 400 pensioners to let them know that they may be entitled to Pension Credit and how to claim it.
Maybe they wrote to you? They may have written to your pension-age friend or family member.
At a time when so many residents are struggling financially, please use the Government’s Pension Credit calculator to see whether you (or your loved one) can increase your income by claiming Pension Credit.
Pension Credit calculator: https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator
And if you need help with this, please contact Age UK or the council’s Welfare Benefits service. The Benefits team have noticed that there are many pensioners who are not coming forward and are missing out on benefits. Do speak to the team as they can help you to maximise your benefits.
Age UK Redbridge: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/redbridgebarkinghavering/
Welfare Benefits service: https://www.redbridge.gov.uk/benefits/welfare-benefits-contact
Free TV License
Also, did you know that a person aged 75 or over and receives Pension Credit can also apply for a free TV license? A TV licence is £159.00 per year. Applying for a free one will put money back in your pocket. If you have been paying for a TV licence when you were eligible for a free one, you may be due a refund. To find out more and apply, visit:
Support for vulnerable people
There are also a range of benefits available that are more likely to support pensioners and vulnerable people, eg disability benefits. Check out the Cost-of-Living website:
Household Support Fund
The Household Support Fund is available to pensioners on application through our outreach sessions and through trusted partners including Citizens Advice and very soon through AgeUK. Age UK can certainly make the case for anyone to us and they have our contact details. Drop-in sessions will be advertised on the Events page on the Cost-of-Living website:
Community Living Rooms
If you are worried about your energy bills, don’t forget there is a network of warm spaces including libraries and community organisations. Most also run activity programmes like book clubs, classes and social groups.
Redbridge has a couple of lunch clubs, they are a place to eat a good meal, make friends and try out new activities. There is a charge and meals will need to be booked in advance.
Age UK Activity Centre
Age UK also has an Activity Centre at the Allan Burgess Centre in Wanstead. They provide lunch and refreshments and run a number of activities including: Art, Bridge, Chair exercise, Chair Yoga and Book Club. They also do computer training, online/offline Tai Chi and Online classes through Di’s Diamonds and Art videos. There is a small fee for lunch and activities at the centre.
Reduce your food shopping bill
Don’t forget, pensioners and residents can access the Ilford Community Grocery Store for an annual membership of £5 they can do a daily shop for £4 that equates to over £20 worth of shopping. The store is open Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 4.30pm. (Excluding bank holidays) Details on how to join can be found here: https://communitygrocery.org.uk/ilford/
In an emergency
If you are struggling to put food on the plate, contact Welfare Benefits, Citizen’s Advice Redbridge etc who can issue food vouchers which can be used at Redbridge Food Banks.