State pensioners missing out on thousands in DWP benefit – have you checked?

Attendance Allowance: Age UK helps man claim benefit

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Nearly three and a half million (3.4) pensioners could be claiming Attendance Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) worth up to £3,515 a year. So why are so many missing out?

More than three million of people who have reached state pension age are missing out on Attendance Allowance which is available to pensioners who are physically or mentally disabled.

Who qualifies for Attendance Allowance?

Pensioners who have reached state pension age and have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both

The disability is severe enough for them to need help caring for themselves or someone to supervise them, for their own or someone else’s safety

Must have needed that help for at least six months (unless they are terminally ill).

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While Attendance Allowance could add up to £292 a month to the household budget, millions of people are also missing out on Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Carer’s Allowance.

Campaigners like poverty charity Turn2Us are concerned that not everyone knows about these DWP benefits.

Many people with long term health conditions do not realise that they could be entitled to £7,296 a year in PIP payments.

Almost half a million (400,000) aren’t claiming Carer’s Allowance which is also worth £292 a month.

As well as lack of awareness, some pensioners claim that the DWP benefits process puts them off.

A pensioner from Nottinghamshire recently told Express.co.uk that applying for Attendance Allowance left her feeling depressed and hopeless.

The 77-year-old pensioner said: “It brings you down and makes you question ‘is it worth it?’”

“I don’t know how an elderly person with no support is expected to fill this in.”

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In response a DWP spokesperson said: “We want to ensure disabled pensioners with care needs receive all the support to which they are entitled and in 2020/21, 88.9 percent of claims for Attendance Allowance were approved.

“We continue to encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible for extra financial help to check online and use the free, independent benefits calculators available.”

People can ask Age UK and Citizens Advice for help with the benefits process.

To check eligibility for all DWP benefits, Britons can go to Gov.uk where there is a handy benefits calculator.

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