State pensioners could be missing out on a benefit worth up to £4,800

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Attendance Allowance is a benefit distributed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to people who have reached state pension age, which is currently 66, and need help with personal care or supervision due to illness or a disability. While the eligibility criteria remain broad, it’s said that millions who can aren’t claiming the support.

Attendance Allowance can provide entitled Britons with up to £400.40 a month at its highest rate, equating to £4,804.80 per year.

However, it’s thought that around 3.4 million eligible pensioners are missing out on this support.

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at retirement specialist Just Group recently highlighted the urgency surrounding unclaimed financial support when presented results around the startling state pension shortfall.

He said: “Any retiree struggling for income should make sure they are claiming their full state benefits entitlement as large amounts go unclaimed every year.

“Our data shows that nearly half (49 percent) of homeowners eligible for benefits are failing to claim, missing out on £1,197 a year, while two in 10 (21 percent) homeowners are underclaiming, with an average loss of £1,220 extra income.”

Who is eligible to claim Attendance Allowance?

There are a few boxes that need to be ticked in order to claim Attendance Allowance. Firstly, the person must be of or over the state pension age of 66 and be in Great Britain (England, Scotland, or Wales).

They must have been in Britain for the last two of three years (although, this doesn’t count for refugees or those with humanitarian protection status).

A person must also be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands and aren’t subject to immigration control.

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If all of this applies, as mentioned, the person must also have a type of disability or illness, which means support or supervision is required to help with personal care.

This can include sight or hearing impairments, learning difficulties, mobility issues such as arthritis, or mental health issues such as dementia or psychosis.

People could also apply if they have difficulties with smaller, personal tasks, experience pain or need physical help.

The full list of conditions that can qualify for Attendance Allowance include:

  • Arthritis
  • Spondylosis
  • Back pain – other/precise diagnosis not specified
  • Disease of the muscles, bones or joints
  • Trauma to Limbs
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Heart disease
  • Chest disease
  • Asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Neurological diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinsons disease
  • Motor neurone disease
  • Chronic pain syndromes
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Metabolic disease
  • Traumatic paraplegia/tetraplegia
  • Major trauma other than traumatic paraplegia/tetraplegia
  • Learning difficulties
  • Psychosis
  • Psychoneurosis
  • Personality disorder
  • Dementia
  • Behavioural disorder
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Hyperkinetic syndrome
  • Renal disorders
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Bowel and stomach disease
  • Blood disorders
  • Haemophilia
  • Multi-system disorders
  • Multiple allergy syndrome
  • Skin disease
  • Malignant disease
  • Severely mentally impaired
  • Double amputee
  • Deaf/blind
  • Haemodialysis
  • Frailty
  • Total parenteral autrition
  • AIDS
  • 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

The person must also have needed help for the past six months unless they have less than six months to live.

In that case, they will be awarded the benefit as soon as the person first needed help with care under what is sometimes referred to as “special rules”.

Britons don’t need to have had a diagnosis for their condition to apply for Attendance Allowance. As long as they’ve needed help or supervision, or have had difficulties for six months because of their condition, they can claim it.

However, it should be noted, Britons won’t be able to get Attendance Allowance if they already get Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Adult Disability Payment (ADP), or the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

The rate at which Attendance Allowance is paid depends on just how much help is required, but the funds don’t need to be spent on care. Instead, it can be put towards other costs – like energy bills.

Attendance Allowance rates 2022/23

There are two rates of Attendance Allowance offered, the lower rate and the higher rate.

The lower rate applies to people who need help during the day or at night and amounts to £61.85 per week.

The higher rate applies to those who need help during both the day and at night, or have a terminal illness. This amounts to £92.40 per week.

Attendance Allowance isn’t a means-tested benefit, meaning current savings or income won’t affect the claim, nor will it impact other benefits received.

Eligibility for Attendance Allowance could actually help with claims for other benefits, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, or Council Tax Reduction.

To get the benefit, claimants need to fill out a form, clearly outlining the help they do need, as well as the help they don’t.

To pick up an Attendance Allowance form, claimants can either call the helpline on 0800 731 0122 or download the form from the Government website.

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