Martin Lewis reveals who is eligible for Attendance Allowance
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Older Britons claiming the state pension are usually hit hard when prices rise and with inflation hitting the highest in 40 years many could struggle over the next few months. On its website, the DWP is urging “anyone who is unsure of what they are entitled to, to do a benefit calculation to see if there is anything they can claim”. One of the most underclaimed benefits is Attendance Allowance which is given to people over the state pension age with a disability or medical condition.
According to the DWP, around 3.4 million pensioners are estimated to be eligible for Attendance Allowance.
The payment is intended to help with extra costs a physical or mental disability or illness can have and the aim of the benefit is to help older Britons stay as independent as possible and in their own homes for longer.
People can use the money they are given to pay for anything which can help their everyday lives, it could be used on taxis, bills, food shops, or paying for a cleaner.
Attendance Allowance is paid at two different rates and what someone is paid is dependent on the care that is needed and not the disability.
The lower rate, of £61.85 a week, is given if a person needs help or supervision during the day or at night.
The higher rate of £92.40 is given if a person needs help during the day and overnight, or if they are terminally ill.
Overall, people have the chance to claim up to £370 per month and over £4,000 every year.
This extra cash could really help someone who may be struggling with the rising costs.
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Under Attendance Allowance rules, to claim people must have had a disability or health condition that they have been struggling with for at least six months.
However, people do not need to have a carer in order to claim.
People also do not need to have had a formal diagnosis for their condition.
Britons should be aware Attendance Allowance is not a means-tested benefit.
This means it can be paid regardless of someone’s income, savings or National Insurance contribution record, it is also tax-free.
Having savings is often cited as a reason why people do not try and claim the financial help.
Claiming Attendance Allowance also won’t affect any other benefits a person gets or their state pension.
If someone is eligible to claim, they may also be able to claim further financial support like Pension Credit or Housing benefit.
They could also receive a Council Tax reduction, however, they must approach their local council to find out whether they can claim this.
Attendance Allowance claimants are also eligible for the Government’s Christmas Bonus, which is awarded to people on certain benefits during the qualifying week – usually the first full week of December.
The Christmas Bonus is a one-off, tax-free, automatic £10 payment made before just Christmas.
To make a claim, Britons need to fill out the Attendance Allowance claim form online and send it through the post.
Britons are able to download the Attendance Allowance form, known as the AA1 form, on the GOV.UK website.
Once a claim is sent, someone should receive written confirmation within 14 days from the DWP confirming they have received the application.
After eight weeks a decision letter should be received informing someone whether their claim had been successful.
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