Be specific on form or miss out on £4000 a year – tips for Attendance Allowance applicants

Attendance Allowance: Age UK helps man claim benefit

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Attendance Allowance is a benefit that helps with the extra costs of long-term illness or disability which can be either physical and/or mental. A person’s disability must be severe enough for them to be unable to care for themselves.

The Attendance Allowance application, otherwise known as the AA1 form, contains a number of personal questions.

Questions 27 to 43 are especially focused on a person’s care needs in relation to their personal tasks.

As such, it is crucial for people to be as descriptive as possible when filling out the application form.

In fact, research by Benefit Answers shows that 58 percent of new Attendance Allowance claims are rejected by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

This is because some applicants don’t mention the impact of their illness or disability.

Attendance Allowance is, in principle, designed for anyone over the age of 65 who has substantial care needs arising from physical or mental impairment. Thus a high level of detail is required about how such conditions affect day-to-day activities.

The AA1 form will ask an individual how they manoeuvre washing, bathing and looking after their appearance.

This question will centre on how a person gets in and out of the shower, adjusts shower controls, shaves, puts on skin creams, or washes and dries hair.

Another question relates to medical treatment and how a person identifies their tablets, reads and understands instructions about taking medication or manages a condition such as diabetes.

Other questions relate to how one uses a toilet, if they need any help eating and drinking, whether they require assistance getting dressed or undressed and if they need help navigating the stairs.

Not providing as much detail as possible can see pensioners missing out on over £4,000 a year.

It is also important to detail if a person needs help getting up from a chair, getting in and out of bed or moving safely from room to room.

Before sending the form to DWP, people must attach any supporting information such as GP letters, their care plan or prescription lists.

They can send the completed form to a freepost DWP address which does not require a postcode or a stamp.

Another option is to call the Attendance Allowance helpline to ask for a copy of the AA1 form.

Alternative form formats such as braille do exist for the visually impaired.

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Attendance Allowance is only for people who have reached state pension age.

The benefit currently offers £89.60 for those on a higher rate and £60 for anyone receiving a lower rate.

Attendance Allowance is not means-tested and can be paid regardless of a person’s income, savings or National Insurance contribution record.

Attendance Allowance is set to rise to £92.40 on April 11, 2022 for those on a higher rate and to £61.85 for anyone receiving a lower rate.

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