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Information for older prisoners - Claiming state pensions and benefits after you are released

Tuesday, June 8th 2010


Information for older prisoners
Claiming state pensions and benefits after you are released
It is important to try and get your pension and benefits claims sorted out before you leave prison if you can.
At the moment prisoners cannot get state pension or benefits while they are serving a sentence.
What pension or benefits can I get when I leave prison?
You will be able to claim (or reclaim) your pension if
·         You have reached state pension age (65 for men, 60 for women born before 6 April 1950 but gradually rising to 65 women born later)
·         You have paid enough national insurance contributions
You might be able to get other benefits depending on your income and savings such as
·         Pension Credit
·         Housing Benefit
·         Council Tax Benefit
You might also be able to claim Attendance Allowance which is for people with disabilities aged 65 or over or Disability Living Allowance for people with disabilities under the age of 65 These does not depend on your income.
Getting more information
The Directgov website contains clear information on State Pension, Pension Credit and how to make a claim.  This is the link:
You could ask an officer or someone that works in the prison to download this information for you.
You can also call these numbers to get advice on claiming benefits or request a claim form
State Pensions - 0800 731 7898
Pension Credit - 0800 99 1234
Other organisations such as Age Concern and Help the Aged can also send you information about benefits and other issues which can be found online or ordered by phone on 0800 00 99 66.
You can write to them at:
Age Concern and Help the Aged
Freepost (SWB30375)
Devon TQ13 7ZZ
Making your claim
You can claim your state pension or pension credit before leaving prison.
However, payments will not start until the Pension Service has received form B79 ‘Notification of Discharge from Prison’. The Pension Service is part of the Department for Work and Pensions that pays state pensions and benefits to older people.
You can ask prison staff to send this directly to the Pension Service. Otherwise, you will need to take this to the local job centre or post it to the Pension Service when you are released.
Visits from the Pension Service
Your local Pension Service might already visit your prison or staff might be able to arrange for them to do this.  
We have produced is a note like this for prison staff which includes contact details for the local Pension Service. They can get it or and 020 7251 5070.
Getting more information
If you need any more information or advice you can contact us
Age Concern and Help the Aged on 0800 00 99 66
Prison Reform Trust on 0808 808 0060
Mondays 3.30-7.30 and Tuesdays/Thursdays 3.30-5.30
February 2010

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