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Attendance Allowance is a benefit distributed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to people who have reached state pension age and need help with personal care or supervision due to illness or a disability. However, despite the broad eligibility criteria, it’s thought that millions who can aren’t claiming the support.
Currently, Attendance Allowance can subsidise eligible Britons with up to £400.40 a month at its highest rate, equating to £4,804.80 per year.
The rate is due to increase by a further 10.1 percent from April 2023 in line with inflation, providing more significant support to aid with ever-increasing costs next year.
However, it’s believed that up to 3.4 million eligible pensioners could be missing out on this support by failing to claim it.
And one of the more common misconceptions accounting for this is that it could impact other benefits by claiming. But, Attendance Allowance isn’t a means-tested benefit, meaning current savings or income won’t affect the claim, nor will it impact other benefits received.
Eligibility for Attendance Allowance could even help with claims for other benefits, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, or council tax reduction.
Who is entitled to claim Attendance Allowance?
To claim Attendance Allowance, the person must first be of or over the state pension age of 66 and be in Great Britain (England, Scotland, or Wales).
They must have been in Great Britain for the last two of three years (although, this doesn’t count for refugees or those with humanitarian protection status).
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A person must also be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands and aren’t subject to immigration control.
If all of this applies, as mentioned, the person must also have a type of disability or illness which means support or supervision is required to help with personal care.
Conditions can include sight or hearing impairments, learning difficulties, mobility issues such as arthritis, or mental health issues such as dementia or psychosis.
People could also apply if they have difficulties with smaller, personal tasks, experience pain or need physical help.
The full list of conditions that can qualify for Attendance Allowance include:
- Back Pain – other/precise diagnosis not specified
- Disease of the muscles, bones or joints
- Trauma to limbs
- Heart disease
- Chest disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Neurological diseases
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinsons disease
- Motor neurone disease
- Chronic pain syndromes
- Diabetes mellitus
- Metabolic disease
- Traumatic paraplegia/tetraplegia
- Major trauma other than traumatic paraplegia/tetraplegia
- Learning difficulties
- Personality disorder
- Behavioural disorder
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Hyperkinetic syndrome
- Renal disorders
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Bowel and stomach disease
- Blood disorders
- Multi-system disorders
- Multiple allergy syndrome
- Skin disease
- Malignant disease
- Severely mentally impaired
- Double amputee
- Total parenteral autrition
- Infectious diseases: Viral disease – coronavirus Covid-19
- Infectious diseases: Viral disease – precise diagnosis not specified
- Infectious diseases: Bacterial disease – tuberculosis
- Infectious diseases: Bacterial disease – precise diagnosis not specified
- Infectious diseases: Protozoal disease – malaria
- Infectious diseases: Protozoal disease – other/precise diagnosis not specified
- Infectious diseases – other/precise diagnosis not specified
- Cognitive disorder – other/precise diagnosis not specified
- Terminally ill.
The person must also have needed help for the past six months unless they have less than six months to live. In that case, the benefit will be awarded as soon as the person first needed help with care.
Claimants don’t need to have a diagnosis for their condition to apply. As long as they’ve needed help or supervision, or have had difficulties for six months because of their condition, they can claim it.
However, it should be noted, Britons won’t be able to get Attendance Allowance if they already get Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Adult Disability Payment (ADP), or the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
Attendance Allowance rates are paid depending on how much help is required, but the payment doesn’t need to be spent on care. Instead, it can be put towards other costs – like energy bills.
Attendance Allowance rates
Attendance Allowance is offered at two rates, the lower rate and the higher rate.
The lower rate is awarded to people who need help during the day or at night and amounts to £61.85 per week.
The higher rate is awarded to those who need help during both the day and at night or have a terminal illness. This amounts to £92.40 per week.
However, as per Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s announcement during his Autumn Statement in November, these rates will increase by 10.1 percent from April 2023.
This will bring the lower rate up to £68.10 per week, while the higher rate will be paid at £101.75 per week.
To get the benefit, claimants need to fill out a form, clearly outlining the help they do need, as well as the help they don’t. Claimants can either call the helpline on 0800 731 0122 or download the form from the Government website.
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