Attendance Allowance: How can you claim the benefit?
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Attendance Allowance is paid to millions of pensioners aged state pension age and above to help them fund additional support. However, the official figures show that around 3.4 million people are missing out. Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people over the state pension age, which is 66 years, who need help with personal care or supervision because of illness or disability.
There are two different amounts which people can receive, and it is decided on the care that is needed rather than the disability.
If a person is terminally ill, they are able to claim Attendance Allowance straight away.
The lower rate, of £61.85 a week, is given if a person needs help or supervision during the day or at night.
The higher rate, of £92.40, is given if a person needs help during the day and overnight, or if they are terminally ill.
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Overall, people have the chance to claim up to £370 per month or around £4,428 a year.
Medical conditions that could make someone eligible to qualify include things such as arthritis, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or mental health issues such as dementia.
The DWP benefit is not means-tested, so working people can still claim the support.
It is also tax-exempt, so there’s no need to declare it as income.
The help someone needs can include help with things like getting dressed, eating or drinking, getting in and out of bed, bathing or showering and going to the toilet, or help to stay safe.
Additionally, if someone has difficulties with tasks such as taking a long time to complete, they experience pain or need physical help, like a chair to lean on.
Britons don’t need to have a full-time carer in order to qualify for the money.
However, to be eligible people will have needed help for at least six months prior to making a claim.
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Many eligible claimants have been put off doing so as the application process has been described as “overcomplicated”.
The application is long and can take a fair bit of time to complete and charities have also described the process as being “emotionally draining”.
This is because the claimant will have to disclose personal information about their condition or disability effects them which can be hard to do.
Britons are advised to contact their local Citizens Advice, Ager UK or other charities for help with their application.
People can also ask a friend, relative or carer if a person would rather they help them with it.
In their application, people will need to provide their National Insurance number and their GP details.
Britons will be required to list their conditions on this form, so need to be sure that they include them all, and they will also need to include a list of all the medications they take.
The DWP will use the application form to work out the entitlement and it will be looking to see what difficulties a person has and how much help they need.
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