State pension age Britons may claim up to £386 per month as new guide makes process easier
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Pensioners could get financial support through Attendance Allowance, helping with living expenses and enabling them to continue to be independent in their own home. Thousands of Britons could be eligible for the benefit, but many people may not have heard of it or know enough about it.
With that in mind, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has created new online guidance to help more pensioners understand whether they are eligible and how they can claim.
Attendance Allowance helps people who have a disability severe enough that they need someone to help look after them. It is paid at two different rates, depending on the level of care that is required because of a disability.
People who are over state pension age could get £60 or £89.60 a week to help with personal support if they are physically or mentally disabled. Attendance Allowance does not cover mobility needs.
People who need frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night can get the lower rate of £60 per week. That means lower rate recipients could get an extra £240 of income each month, or £3,120 per year.
Those needing help or supervision throughout both day and night, or are terminally ill are eligible for the higher rate of £89.60. At the higher rate, recipients would get £358.40 per month or £4,659.20 each year.
By claiming Attendance Allowance, people could also increase the other benefits they receive. Recipients could get additional Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction.
Claimants do not have to have someone caring for them in order to be eligible. However, if they do have a carer, they could get Carer’s Allowance if they have substantial caring needs.
Receiving Attendance Allowance will not affect a claimant’s state pension, and people who are still working and earning money can still claim it. Attendance Allowance is not means-tested, meaning the amount a claimant earns or how much they have in savings will not affect the amount received.
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People who have reached state pension age and meet the following criteria can apply for Attendance Allowance:
They have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both.
The disability is severe enough that they need help caring for themself or someone to supervise them, for their own or someone else’s safety.
They have needed help for a minimum of six months (unless they are terminally ill).
A claimant must also:
Be in Great Britain when they claim. However, there are some exceptions, such as members and family members of the armed forces.
Have been in Great Britain for at least two of the last three years (this does not apply to refugees or people with humanitarian protection status).
Be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
Not be subject to immigration control (unless they are a sponsored immigrant).
UK nationals who live in the EU, a European Economic Area or Switzerland might still be able to get Attendance Allowance.
Those who live in a care home and whose care is paid for by their local authority cannot usually get Attendance Allowance. However, people can still claim Attendance Allowance if they pay for all their care home costs.
Claimants will only need to attend an assessment to check their eligibility if it is unclear how their illness or disability affects them. People who do need an assessment will receive a letter explaining why and where they must go. During the assessment, a healthcare professional will need to examine the claimant.
People who already get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP), however, cannot get Attendance Allowance.
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