Retired Members Info and Resources Issue 67 April 2016

Staying ActiveHealth Benefits
Everyone in Scotland gets free prescriptions and eye tests. If you have less than £16‚000 in savings you may be able to get some help towards dental treatment‚ glasses and travel costs to hospital.

Ask your dentist‚ optician or hospital staff for advice before paying for treatment. The HC1 form can be used to claim help with NHS dental treatment; NHS wigs and fabric supports; sight tests‚ glasses and contact lenses; and travel to hospital for NHS treatment. There may be other ways of getting help if you have certain medical conditions.

How to apply

You need the HC1 application form. This is available from Jobcentre Plus offices, many opticians, dentists, local hospitals and GP surgeries or by calling the NHS forms order line on 0845 610 1112 (lo-call rate). You can also request a form online from the NHS Business Services Authority (see Useful website).

For a copy of the form in large print or other formats or for help to fill it in, call the Help with Health Costs helpline on 0845 850 1166 (lo-call rate).

They can also provide an interpreter if English is not your first language. Simply call and tell them in English what language you prefer or ask a friend to tell them.

Income Tax

Income Tax is tax on your taxable income. Your taxable income has to be over a certain level to be taxed. There are allowances and reliefs you may be able to claim on your taxable income that could reduce your Income Tax bill.

What is counted as taxable income?

Most types of income will be added together to calculate how much tax you must pay. Some forms of income are not taxable and are not taken into account when calculating whether you have to pay tax.
Income that would be taxed includes:
• earnings from employment and self-employment
• interest from savings (excluding Individual Savings Accounts, ISAs) most pensions income
• State Pension
• contributory Employment Support Allowance
• income from shares (dividends)
• rental income
• income paid to you from a trust.

Income that is not taxable includes:
• Disability Living Allowance
• Attendance Allowance
• Income-related Employment Support Allowance
• Working Tax Credit
• Pension Credit
• Winter Fuel Payments
• Council Tax and Housing Benefit
• War Disablement Pension
• War Widow’s/Widower’s Pension.

Contact HM Revenue & Customs for further information about which types of income are taxable and which are non-taxable. You can also download a factsheet from Age Scotland partner Age UK.
Your tax allowance(s) represents the amount of income you can receive without paying tax.

Everyone is entitled to a personal allowance and some people are entitled to other allowances as well. You cannot be ‘paid’ any unused allowance.

The main allowances are listed below and then described. The higher allowances for people of 65 and over may be reduced if someone’s gross income is more than £22,900.
Civil Partnerships were introduced in December 2005. Same sex couples who register a civil partnership are now treated in the same way as married people for Income Tax purposes.

NB ** Tax Help for Older People **

• Tax Help for Older People is a service from the charity Tax Volunteers providing free, independent and expert help and advice for older people on lower incomes who cannot afford to pay for professional tax advice. With over 420 volunteers and a national call centre, it doesn’t matter where you live.
• We provide a caring and friendly help and advice service on personal tax issues through our own expert advisers that are jargon-free, independent, confidential and individual to your needs.
• Simply call the Tax Help number 01308 488066, or contact us by post or email via the website enquiry form, and we will help resolve your tax problem. If you are using our 0845 601 3321 number please be aware your call may be charged at 5ppm plus an access charge

NB ** Unclaimed Benefits: **

Every year, as much as £5.5bn of benefits that older people are entitled to go unclaimed – including Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit and Pension Credit.

If you are unsure about your entitlements, please call Silver Line Scotland on 0800 4 70 80 90, who can help you with a Benefits Check.

(Well, you won’t know unless you give that number a call;
and you never know; DWP just might be owe you some cash!)

Apologies to Age Concern Scotland/Silver Line Scotland for any misquotes printed in this newsletter.

Mae Stewart

Provided by Mae Stewart, Editor UNISON Retired members Newsletter, Dundee, Perth and Angus. Please note that this is not definitive information about benefits but will provide a signpost as to where to get up to date information. Please check the sources first. UNISON Scotland can take no responsibility for information that may be outdated or inaccurate.

Retired Members