Age Concern claims around 6,000 older people will still lose out
despite a change to benefits rules allowing people to claim
benefits for the first 13 weeks of a hospital stay.
Pensions minister Ian McCartney announced a change to the rules
allowing people to keep their full rate of benefits if they are in
hospital for less than 13 weeks. Currently people in hospital for
over six weeks have their benefits cut.
The decision will benefit 20,000 pensioners and 6,000 people of
working age who are in hospital for longer than six weeks but less
than 13. However, Age Concern claims that up to 6,000 older people
who are in hospital for longer than 13 weeks will receive limited
Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern England, said
that many older people who have paid a lifetime of contributions
will continue to find themselves in financial difficulty when they
are at their most vulnerable.
“We are glad that the government has accepted our concerns, but
Age Concern would like ministers to abolish this unfair and
outdated rule altogether,” he said.