Are you, or someone you know, missing out on claiming Attendance Allowance?
We have found that many older people are not realising that they are eligible to make a claim, either because they have not heard of it , or because of some misconceptions. So let’s clarify a few things.
Attendance Allowance is a non-means tested benefit of £60 or £89.60 per week for those who are over State Pension age and who have a disability or health issue which makes looking after themselves more of a challenge than it used to be. You need to have experienced difficulties coping with everyday life for at least 6 months. The benefit is intended to help those with long term needs rather than any temporary consequences of an accident or operation.
Here are some common misunderstandings:
I have to be using a wheelchair to qualify
Incorrect. There can be varying degrees of difficulties caused by many different health issues both physical and mental.
Some things that people find hard to manage are cooking meals from scratch, bathing/showering, dressing/undressing, getting around indoors, getting settled in bed etc.
I have to be getting paid help
Incorrect. Any help, supervision or support you need can be provided by family or friends.
It does not apply to me as I live on my own so have no-one to “attend” to me
Incorrect. The terms “help” and “supervision” do not mean help you actually get. They mean help and support you would have, should you choose, in an ideal world. Struggling to manage on your own is exactly a good reason to make a claim!
I must use the money to pay for a carer
Incorrect. You can spend the money however you like. It could go towards things to make your life easier, such as taxi fares, a cleaner, gardener, shopper etc. It could also be used to help with the rising cost of energy, so you can have the heating on more, or just to help with ever increasing cost of living. It is entirely your choice.
Claiming Attendance Allowance does not affect your State Pension and you can have any amount of savings or household income as this benefit is not means tested.
Claiming is best done by phoning 0800 731 0122 as an award would then be backdated from the call date, as long as the form is returned within 6 weeks.
Please do contact us if you would like more information or need help to complete the quite lengthy form.