The Federation of
Merchant Mariners

Welfare Corner

From Jane Curr - Welfare Officer
Tel: 01480 412958

‘Tell Us Once’

When a loved-one dies, the paperwork you have deal with notifying so many different authorities can be overwhelming, at a time when there is so much else to tackle as well.

The government has introduced a new service in England, Scotland and Wales called ‘Tell Us Once’, to help simplify this task.  

When you register a death at your local registry office, they will tell you how to access the ‘Tell Us Once’ service.  You can access the service in person, over the phone, or online.  The ‘Tell Us Once’ service will then contact relevant local and central government departments on your behalf to notify them of the death, so you don’t have to do this yourself.  This can include the local council (for council tax/housing benefit), Disability & Carers Service (for disability benefits), DVLA (driving licence), HM Revenue & Customs, the Pension Service, the Passport Service, Veterans Agency, electoral services, and even your local library services.

Tax Allowance changes – Budget Spring 2012

There was a lot of media attention in the spring about the changes in tax allowances for over-65s.  At present, your personal tax allowance increases on your 65th birthday, and again on your 75th.  Changes in legislation mean that from 2013-14, the personal allowance will be the same for all taxpayers, regardless of age.  If you were born before 6 April 1938, your personal allowance for 2012-13 will be £10,660, but it will not increase the next year.  If you were born 6 April 1938 – 5 April 1948, your personal allowance for 2012-13 will be £10,500, but it will not increase the next year. 

So, if you turn 65 on or after 5 April 2013, your personal tax allowance for that year will be £9205, the same as for anyone younger.  If you turn 65 just before April 2013, your personal allowance will be £10,500.  We always knew there were positive advantages in being ‘slightly more mature’!

We are always glad to hear from you.   If you have any questions about the above, or any concerns or queries about welfare matters, do get in touch with us.

Keep a Weather-Eye out for your shipmates. It’s what our members are best at.

Some of our members live alone and would appreciate a visit or a call from friends from time to time. A card or a call on their birthday lets them know that they are part of the family and the crew of a very special ship-the Federation of Merchant Mariners. Some need specialist advice on care and benefits,

The Weather-Eye scheme shows that each member cares about the other. We have been doing this since the Federation was formed so it is not new and the Weather-Eye Scheme simply puts our care and friendship into a package which is recognised and understood by members and other caring agencies alike.

Weather-Eye offers free confidential and impartial advice on a wide range of issues, from entitlement to welfare benefits to holidays and respite care, from accessing financial help to equipment and aid to make life easier. Our Welfare Officer has many examples of help already given and she is on hand to help you too. If necessary she will refer you to those best placed to assist you.

Feeling valued and appreciated is an essential element of high morale for our Veterans and our UK wide Presentations of the UKMSVB in the heart of the community is an integral part of an all inclusive “feel good” package.    

If you would like help or advice just call the Welfare Officer on the office telephone 01480412958.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a benefit that can be paid to people aged 65 and over who have a physical and/or mental disability that makes their life substantially more difficult than that of a healthy person of the same age. It is paid because of problems you have managing your personal care, and the help you therefore need, not because someone actually looks after you. So you can qualify for it even if you live alone.

Personal care covers a wide spectrum if you have difficulty managing things such as: dressing, washing, eating, getting to and using the toilet, communicating with others, or need supervision to ensure you are not in danger, perhaps because you have become forgetful or confused, or need someone to monitor your medical condition.

Attendance Allowance is paid at two rates. For 2009-10, low rate is £47.10 per week, high rate is £70.35 per week. If you find caring for yourself day-to-day more and more difficult, it might well be worth applying.

Attendance Allowance is tax-free and non-means tested, and payable on top of, and in addition to, most other benefits you may be entitled to.;

Entitlement to Attendance Allowance might increase the amount of Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit you are entitled to. To qualify you must be resident in Great Britain.

To obtain an application pack for Attendance Allowance, contact the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 88 22 00.

Useful Contact Numbers:

Veterans Helpline 0800 169 22 77

Benefits Enquiry Line 0800 88 22 00 advice and information on benefits for disabled people and their carers

Pension Credit 0800 99 1234 advice, information and assistance in making a Pension Credit application

Consumer Credit Counselling Service 0800 138 1111 free confidential debt advice

Jane Curr
Welfare Officer