Attendance Allowance provides financial support for people over state pension age through extra daily living expenses. The payment is intended to help with extra costs if a person has a physical or mental disability or illness severe enough that makes it hard for them to look after themselves. The aim of this DWP benefit is to help people stay independent and in their own homes for longer.
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.
People with a terminal illness can also apply.
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.
According to the Government guidelines, claimants must have had a disability or health condition that they have been struggling with for at least six months.
People also do not need to have had a formal diagnosis for their condition to apply for help.
Attendance Allowance is not a means-tested benefit so a person’s savings or income will not affect their claim.
Claiming the support also won’t affect any other benefits a person gets.
In fact, it can actually be a stepping stone in helping a person access further benefits such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, or a Council Tax Reduction.
Care home residents usually are not entitled to claim Attendance Allowance as their care is typically paid for by their local authority.
However, people may still be able to claim Attendance Allowance if they pay for all their own care home costs.
The charity Age UK has urged pensioners to check if they are eligible for the benefit as millions are missing out on the financial support.
To claim Attendance Allowance, people will need to fill out the claim form which can be found on and downloaded from the Government’s website.
According to Age UK, pensioners have however reported difficulties when submitting claims for DWP benefits such as Attendance Allowance.
Age UK reminds Britons that they are able to apply for Attendance Allowance on behalf of someone else, such as a parent or a friend or other relative.
The charity also recommends that when people fill out their form, then they must be “really clear” on how their illness or disability affects them.
People should also include any and all supporting information for the claim such as GP letters, care plans, or prescription lists.
Once the form has been submitted, the DWP may contact a person for more information or to arrange a doctor’s visit.
The charity stated that it understands the application process can be “daunting” and it has created a page with guidance and tips to help better understand the process.