The Federation of Merchant Mariners
Veterans Welfare

From Jane Curr - Welfare Officer Tel: 01480 412 958 Email: jane.curr.merchant-mariners@gmail.com

‘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.

Over 80 Pension

This is a pension specifically for people aged 80 or over.

To qualify you must get either a State Retirement Pension of less than £71.50 per week, or no State Retirement Pension at all. If you receive less than £71.50 in State Retirement Pension, the amount you receive can be topped up to £71.50. So, say you receive £40 per week in State Pension now, the Over 80 Pension could top it up by £31.50 to a total of £71.50.

Unlike the normal State Retirement Pension, qualification is not based on your National Insurance Contributions. There are certain residency requirements.

You can obtain a claim form for the Over 80 Pension from your local Pension‘Centre or Job Centre Plus. Contact the Pension Service helpline on: 0345 606 0265 for further information.

Train Delays - Compensation

If your train is delayed, you may be entitled to compensation. Some train operators offer compensation after a 30-minute delay, some after 1 hour. If your train is delayed, it is worth contacting the train company to see if you can claim compensation.

A claim for compensation must be put in within 28 days of the journey. Make sure you keep the relevant ticket — the rail company will need to see this as proof you have made (or tried to make!) the journey.

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 Allowanceis 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 www.veterans-uk.info

Benefits Enquiry Line 0800 88 22 00 www.direct.gov.uk advice and information on benefits for disabled people and their carers

Pension Credit 0800 99 1234 www.direct.gov.uk advice, information and assistance in making a Pension Credit application

Consumer Credit Counselling Service 0800 138 1111 www.cccs.co.uk free confidential debt advice

Jane Curr Welfare Officer