Attendance Allowance is paid to Britons who are state pension age and above to help them pay for additional support. It could be worth £369 a month yet it is the most underclaimed UK benefit with 3.4 million people missing out, figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show.
There are two million pensioners living in poverty in the UK, according to a report published by the Centre for Ageing Better.
Almost a quarter of a million (200,000) more pensioners fell into poverty in 2021, resulting in one in five now falling below the official poverty threshold.
At the same time, £15billion is lost in unclaimed benefits every year in the UK and a significant part of this is due to millions of pensioners missing out on Attendance Allowance.
Pensioners are the most likely group of Britons to be missing out on benefits from the DWP, according to Age UK, despite the fact they are often on the lowest incomes.
Age UK highlights six myths preventing people from claiming Attendance Allowance:
1. ‘My claim was turned down’
“Your circumstances may have changed since the last time you applied, especially if it was a while ago. If your care needs have increased, you may find you’re now eligible.”
2. ‘My income’s too high’
“It is assessed purely on your disability or health condition and your care or supervision needs. It isn’t means-tested so it doesn’t matter what you earn or how much you have in savings.”
3. ‘I can get by without it’
“You’ve paid into the tax system all your life. Now it’s time to get something back. Think about what support or equipment might help you to carry on living independently at home for longer.”
4. ‘I don’t want a carer coming in’
“You don’t have to spend Attendance Allowance on a carer. Many older people spend it on other types of help in the home, or equipment to help them stay independent.”
5. ‘I don’t have a carer’
“You don’t need to have a carer or someone looking after you. You qualify based on the help you need, not the help you actually get.”
6. ‘The claim form’s too long’
“Ask your local Age UK if they can help you fill it in. Call Age UK Advice for free on 0800 678 1602 or visit your nearest Age UK.”
State pensioners with one of 56 health conditions could claim this DWP benefit worth £4428 a year.
On reader, @tribble said: “Good luck to all those who think they might qualify. My daughters partner has been unable to work for years.
“She has been in and out of hospital many times and is permanently on morphine and she has to go through a wringer whenever she has to reapply even with written confirmation from the consultant and GP.”