Millions of state pension-age Britons could be missing out on a cash boost worth up to £441 a month, tax-free.
The support comes through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Attendance Allowance benefit, which is aimed at people over state pension age who need help with personal care or supervision due to illness or a disability.
The money is intended to help them stay independent in their own homes for longer and is paid at two rates, based on how much help a person might need.
However, the benefit is known to be widely underclaimed. Yet, with it totalling up to £5,291 a year, it could be worthwhile for people to check if they’re eligible.
Claiming could even help qualify people for extra financial support, such as the Government’s Cost of Living Payments.
Who is eligible to claim Attendance Allowance?
Claimants must be over the state pension age (66) and have a type of disability or illness. This can include a wide range of conditions, from sight or hearing impairments, to mobility issues such as arthritis, or mental health issues such as dementia.
Claimants must have been in Great Britain (England, Scotland, or Wales) for the past two years, and currently be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man, or Channel Islands.
It must be clear that claimants could benefit from help with personal care, such as getting washed or dressed, eating and drinking, or needing supervision to keep them safe during the day or night. However, people don’t need to spend the money on care – they can put the money towards other things like bills.
People must have needed help for at least six months prior to claiming, but those who are terminally ill can claim the benefit straight away.
Britons don’t need to have had a diagnosis for their condition to apply for Attendance Allowance. However, the benefit can’t be claimed if a person already gets Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Adult Disability Payment (ADP), or the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
The full list of conditions that can qualify for Attendance Allowance include:
- Back Pain – other/precise diagnosis not specified
- Disease of the muscles, bones or joints
- Trauma to limbs
- Heart disease
- Chest disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Neurological diseases
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Motor neurone disease
- Chronic pain syndromes
- Diabetes mellitus
- Metabolic disease
- Traumatic paraplegia/tetraplegia
- Major trauma other than traumatic paraplegia/tetraplegia
- Learning difficulties
- Personality disorder
- Behavioural disorder
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Hyperkinetic syndrome
- Renal disorders
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Bowel and stomach disease
- Blood disorders
- Multi-system disorders
- Multiple allergy syndrome
- Skin disease
- Malignant disease
- Severely mentally impaired
- Double amputee
- Total parenteral autrition
- 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.
Attendance Allowance rates 2023
The lower and higher Attendance Allowance payment rates include:
- Lower rate: £68.10 per week
- Higher rate: £101.75 per week.
People who need help during the day or at night could be eligible for the lower rate, whereas people who need help during both the day and at night or have a terminal illness, could be eligible for the higher rate.
To claim, people need to fill out an Attendance Allowance form and clearly outline the help they do need, as well as the help they don’t.
People can get access to a form by either calling the helpline on 0800 731 0122 or downloading it from the Government website, here.