Millions of pensioners could be missing out on Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance: Age UK helps man claim benefit

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Attendance Allowance is a benefit issued by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to people over the state pension age (currently 66) who need help with personal care or supervision due to illness or a disability. However, it’s thought that around 3.4 million extra pensioners could be eligible for this support but are failing to claim it.

With living costs on a persistent increase, now is a good time for Britons to check they’re receiving all of the financial support available to them.

According to Age UK, pensioners are one of the most likely groups to be missing out on DWP benefits, without billions going unclaimed every year collectively.

This is thought to be due to a variety of reasons, but most prevalently, many are simply unaware that they’re eligible to claim.

However, Attendance Allowance has one of the more broader eligibility criteria of other benefits on offer – with around 56 conditions qualifying – and can provide eligible Britons with up to £368 a month.

Who is eligible to claim Attendance Allowance?

To claim Attendance Allowance, the person must 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 and be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands.

If 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, or mental health issues such as dementia or psychosis.

People can also apply if they have trouble with smaller, personal tasks, experience pain or need physical help.

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The full list of conditions that can qualify for Attendance Allowance include:

  • Arthritis
  • Spondylosis
  • Back Pain – other/precise diagnosis not specified
  • Disease of the muscles, bones or joints
  • Trauma to limbs
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Heart disease
  • Chest disease
  • Asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Epilepsy
  • 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
  • Psychosis
  • Psychoneurosis
  • Personality disorder
  • Dementia
  • Behavioural disorder
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Hyperkinetic syndrome
  • Renal disorders
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Bowel and stomach disease
  • Blood disorders
  • Haemophilia
  • Multi-system disorders
  • Multiple allergy syndrome
  • Skin disease
  • Malignant disease
  • Severely mentally impaired
  • Double amputee
  • Deaf/blind
  • Haemodialysis
  • Frailty
  • Total parenteral autrition
  • AIDS
  • 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 fewer than six months to live.

How much is Attendance Allowance?

The amount of Attendance Allowance received is calculated based on how much help is required, not any current help the person does or doesn’t get – and the funds don’t need to be spent on care.

There are two rates available, the lower rate and the higher rate.

The lower rate applies to people who need help during the day or at night and amounts to £61.85 per week.

The higher rate applies to those who need help during both the day and at night – or have a terminal illness – and amounts to £92.40 per week.

This 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 actually help with eligibility for other benefits, such as pension credit, housing benefit, or council tax reduction.

How to claim Attendance Allowance

To claim the benefit, people need to fill out a form, clearly defining the help they do need, as well as the help they don’t.

Claimants can get an Attendance Allowance form by either calling the helpline on 0800 731 0122 or downloading the form from the Government website, here.

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