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Some 3.4 million people who have reached state pension age aren’t claiming Attendance Allowance despite having a disability or health condition that affects their everyday lives. It’s the most underclaimed benefit according to Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) yet at least 56 health conditions typically qualify. Campaigners are urging people to do a benefits check as they could be eligible for financial support from the government without even knowing.
Attendance Allowance is paid to pensioners over the state pension age of 66 who are physically or mentally disabled.
More than two million pensioners are living in poverty in the UK, according to a report published by the Centre for Ageing Better, yet 3.4 million pensioners could be claiming Attendance Allowance according to the DWP.
While there is no specific condition that guarantees financial support, the DWP has previously named 56 conditions that usually mean someone would qualify.
These include asthma, respiratory conditions, depression, arthritis, loss of vision, back pain, and dementia.
One thing that could be putting people off applying is they think they need to have a carer to qualify.
Although people have to show they need help to carry out certain tasks, this doesn’t actually mean they need to have a carer.
Benefits expert Paul Breeden explained: “Attendance Allowance is a weekly benefit that is paid to people aged over pensionable age that helps those who have difficulty with their bodily functions, and who need support or supervision to avoid danger to themselves or others.”
The expert confirmed there is no limit to what pensioners can spend this money on and it doesn’t need to be spent on a carer.
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Claims for DWP benefits like Attendance Allowance are usually reviewed every year but claimants should inform the DWP straight away if there are any changes to their circumstances.
People need to inform the DWP of changes to their health such as if they need to go into hospital or a care home or if they leave the country for more than four weeks.
The DWP also needs to know if the amount of help someone needs changes or if their condition changes.
Even smaller changes to circumstances should be reported, otherwise, it could end up in someone having their benefits stopped.
Attendance Allowance claimants must inform the DWP if:
- The amount of help someone needs or their condition changes
- Someone goes into hospital or a care home
- An individual leaves the country for more than four weeks
- A person has to go into prison
- Someone changes your name, address or bank details
- A person wants to stop receiving your benefit
- A doctor’s details change
- An individual’s immigration status changes or they are not a British citizen.
At least 56 health conditions qualify for Attendance Allowance worth nearly £5,000 a year including:
- 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
- Parkinson’s 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 SyndromeSkin Disease
- Malignant Disease
- Severely Mentally impaired
- Double Amputee
- Total Parenteral Nutrition
- 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.
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