Pensioners who receive Attendance Allowance may be able to boost their payment by £134 a month.
Attendance Allowance, which is distributed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), is for people over state pension age who need help with personal care or supervision due to illness or a disability.
The money is intended to help them stay independent in their own homes for longer and is paid at two rates, based on how much help a person might need.
However, some claimants, whose health may have worsened or who have experienced additional health issues since their initial award, may need to contact the DWP to notify them of changes in their circumstances.
Doing so could result in increased payments for those receiving the lower rate, which can provide a significant boost to a person’s income.
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Currently, the lower rate of Attendance Allowance is worth £68.10 percent. People receiving this rate could see their payments rise to £101.75 a week.
The benefit is paid every four weeks, meaning people’s monthly rate would increase by £134.60 in total, from £272.40 to £407.
The DWP lists eight important changes in circumstance a person must report, which could largely affect both the payment rate and eligibility for the benefit. Therefore, while reaching out to the DWP is essential to potentially receive an increased payment, it’s also a crucial step in preventing any penalties.
The changes listed by the DWP include:
- The level of help they need or their condition changes – details must be provided, such as if the amount of times they need help each day has changed
- They go into hospital or a care home – they’ll need to provide the address, the dates they’ve been there, and how their stay is paid for
- They leave the country for more than four weeks
- They go to prison
- They change their name, address or bank details
- They want to stop receiving the benefit
- Their doctor’s details change
- Their immigration status changes, if they’re not a British citizen.
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If a claimant experiences a change in circumstance, they can report it using the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122, textphone at 0800 731 0317, or via Relay UK (if they cannot hear or speak on the phone), on 18001 then 0800 731 0122.
It isn’t a means-tested benefit, which means current savings or income won’t affect the claim, nor will it impact other benefits received. In fact, it could help people qualify for other benefits, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, or council tax reduction.
Who is eligible for Attendance Allowance?
Claimants must be over the state pension age (66) and have a type of disability or illness. This can include a broad range of conditions, such as learning difficulties, sight or hearing impairments, mobility issues such as arthritis, or mental health issues such as dementia.
It must be clear that claimants could benefit from help with personal care, such as getting washed or dressed, eating and drinking, or needing supervision to keep them safe during the day or night.
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Claimants must have needed help for at least six months prior, but those who are terminally ill can claim the benefit straight away.
Britons don’t need to have had a diagnosis for their condition to apply for Attendance Allowance. However, the benefit can’t be claimed if a person already gets Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Adult Disability Payment (ADP), or the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
To claim, people need to fill out an Attendance Allowance form, clearly outlining the help they do need, as well as the help they don’t, in order to get the benefit. A form can be picked up by either calling the helpline on 0800 731 0122 or downloading it from the Government website, here.
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