Pensioners could get extra £358 per month – are you eligible?

Financial expert explains changes to the state pension

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Pensioners often have to deal with many costs, and can sometimes have a limited income. The state pension is what many older people will look towards to help them financially in later life.

But many pensioners could also be entitled to additional support to help them in day-to-day life.

A scheme run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is designed to assist those with health conditions or disabilities.

Attendance Allowance is specifically set aside for those above state pension age who may be living with these challenges.

The payment can help them to stay independent for longer, and manage related costs.

However, not all people who are eligible are aware they could be putting in a claim.

Attendance Allowance is described as helping with “extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you”.

It is paid at two different rates, but what a person gets depends on the level of help they require.

Importantly, Britons do not actually have to have someone caring for them to claim.

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This widens the net of eligibility and support available.

The lower rate of Attendance Allowance is £60 per week for those who need help or constant supervision during the day – or supervision at night.

The higher rate is currently set at £89.60 per week.

As a result, a person who gets the higher rate could get up to £358 every four weeks. 

This is for those who need help or supervision throughout both day and night, or those who are terminally ill.

Attendance Allowance is also not a means-tested benefit.

This means what a person earns or how much they have in savings does not affect what they receive.

People are eligible for Attendance Allowance if they have a physical or mental disability or both.

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This must be severe enough for the individual to need help caring for themselves, or some kind of supervision.

The help must have been required for at least six months for the payment to be issued, unless individuals are terminally ill.

The person making the claim must be in Britain when they do so, and also be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.

If a person finds they are eligible for the payment, they should take action.

The best way for Britons to claim is using the Attendance Allowance claim form.

Once it is completed, people can send it Freepost to DWP Attendance Allowance.

They will not need a postcode or stamp to do so, making the process easier. 

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