Martin Lewis reveals who is eligible for Attendance Allowance
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If certain circumstances change, people who get Attendance Allowance will need to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as the amount they are entitled to could change. As the benefit is based on the severity of a person’s condition, the amount someone could get could go up or down if anything changes.
The Government department warns that a person could be taken to court or face a penalty if they give the wrong information or do not report a change in their circumstances.
According to DWP guidance, a change in circumstances could be that the level of help a person receives changes such as if the amount of times help is needed each day has changed.
People will also need to report if they have gone into hospital or into a care home residence for more than 28 days. To do this they will need to provide the address, the dates they have been there and how their stay is paid for.
This is because people usually cannot claim Attendance Allowance if they live in a care home and the care is provided by the local authority, however, people can still claim if they pay for the care home costs themselves.
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Attendance Allowance will also stop if someone has been in hospital for 28 days however they’ll be paid again from the day that they leave the hospital.
Citizens Advice says when working out how many days someone has been in hospital they should not count the day they go in or the day leave.
The organisation added: “If you’re in hospital and come back out again, but then go back within 28 days, these periods in hospital will be ‘linked’ and added together.”
Other circumstances which need to be reported include if someone has left the country for more than four weeks, if they go to prison, or if their immigration status changes and they are not a British citizen.
The DWP also says any change to someone’s name, address, bank or doctor’s details will need to be reported.
Citizens Advice warns that a lot of changes can affect the amount of Attendance Allowance someone receives.
If someone is not sure if a change affects their claim, the organisation says “it’s best to tell the DWP anyway”.
The department warns that if a person does not report a change “straight away”, gave the wrong information, or was overpaid by mistake then they will have to repay all the money back to the DWP.
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To report their change, people can contact the DWP through the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm.
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 says the benefit is designed to help people with the additional costs that arise from having a long-term health condition.
The support is paid at two different rates, one higher and the other lower, and the amount someone gets is dependent on the severity of their condition.
People who are terminally ill are automatically eligible to receive Attendance Allowance, at the higher rate.
The higher amount is worth £92.40 a week and the lower amount is £61.85 a week for those who qualify.
Overall, a person could get a maximum of £247.40 or £369.60 every month, and over the course of a year, people could get a boost of over £4,000.
To be eligible for the lower rate, a person should require frequent help or supervision during the day or supervision at night.
For the higher rate, a person must require help or supervision during both the day and night.
To be eligible, people will have needed help for at least six months prior to making a claim and they will need to demonstrate in order to get it.
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