Retirement expert advises people to learn about state pensions
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Attendance Allowance is a benefit payment designed to help with the additional costs which come from having a severe disability or condition which requires someone to look after the claimant. Currently, it is paid at two different rates which are awarded to receipts of Attendance Allowance depending on the level of care they need. Claimants can get either £60 or £89.60 a week to help with personal support if they are both physically or mentally disabled and state pension age, which is 66 years old, or older.
The lower rate is given to state pension recipients who require “frequent attention” during the day or supervision at night, while the higher rate is given to people who need constant supervision throughout the day and who are terminally ill.
It should be noted that Attendance Allowance does not cover a claimant’s mobility costs which arise from their disability.
In the situation that someone’s condition drastically changes, Attendance Allowance claimants must report the change to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as how much they get paid may be altered.
Those who get Attendance Allowance may also be eligible for additional Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction.
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In response to the current living cost crisis, organisations are debunking “myths” regarding Attendance Allowance and the application process for applying for this particular benefit payment.
If someone’s claim is turned down, Age UK offers this advice: “Your circumstances may have changed since the last time you applied, especially if it was a while ago.”
The charity added: “If your care needs have increased, you may find you’re now eligible.”
In relation to people who may be on higher incomes, Age UK said: “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.”
According to Age UK, the common thought by many state pension claimants that they “can get by without” Attendance Allowance is not a good reason not to take advantage of the benefits people may be eligible for.
The charity said: “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.”
On top of this, Age UK dismissed the misconceptions around how Attendance Allowance should be spent, especially in regards to paying for long-term care.
Addressing this concern, the charity explained: “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.
“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.”
When it comes to people applying for Attendance Allowance, the organisation offers its services to those people who are anxious or concerned about completing it.
State pension claimants can call the Age UK advice helping for free on 0800 169 65 65 or visit their nearest Age UK office.
Applicants can download the Attendance Allowance form via the gov.uk website and must send the finished application to Freepost DWP Attendance Allowance by post.
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