Millions of pensioners missing out on £4,660 a year – check whether you could qualify

Martin Lewis gives details on claiming attendance allowance

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Nearly three and a half million more pensioners could be claiming Attendance Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The extra financial help is available to pensioners who are physically or mentally disabled, to help them pay for a carer.

But with 3.4 million pensioners estimated to be missing out, campaigners like poverty charity Turn2Us are concerned that not everyone knows about this benefit.

Who can claim Attendance Allowance?

Those who can claim for the elderly care benefit must be of 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 themself 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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When it comes to qualifying for Attendance Allowance, eligibility assessments aren’t usually requested like they are for Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

The DWP says that people will only need to attend an assessment if it’s unclear how their illness or disability affects them.

It’s always worth trying again if an individual has been turned down before.

Age UK said: “Your circumstances may have changed since the last time you applied, especially if it was a while ago.

So it’s definitely worth checking someone’s entitlement on the Government website.

What other benefits could I be entitled to?

As well as qualifying for Attendance Allowance, people could also be entitled to Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or a Council Tax reduction.

So it’s definitely worth checking someone’s entitlement on the government website.

Individuals will not be eligible for Attendance Allowance if they already get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

Most people who suffer with a mental health condition or physical disability will be entitled to PIP which is replacing the DLA for many UK residents over 16 and could amount to £608 a month.

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Meanwhile, the rules are slightly different if a person is terminally ill and not expected to live for more than six months.

In these circumstances, there is no qualifying period for how long someone has been ill and a person will automatically get the higher rate of Attendance Allowance.

Care home residents won’t usually be entitled to Attendance Allowance because their care is paid for by their local authority.

However, they’ll still be able to claim Attendance Allowance if they pay for all their own care home costs.

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