‘Struggling’ couple awarded over £1,050 arrears and £155 a month

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Attendance Allowance: Age UK helps man claim benefit

Millions of Britons could be missing out on the support with payments to increase by 10.1 percent next year. The boosted payments will mean those on the higher rate will get more than £400 a month.

People may be worried about filling in the application form but help is at hand from charities such as Age UK, who can provide guidance with the form.

A man called Tom contacted the group to ask for help with filling in the application for his parents.

He said: “My dad’s 81 and my mother’s in her late 70s. My dad’s struggling to manage at home, as well as being the main carer for my mum.

“She’s partially sighted and needs help during the night. I rang Age UK Advice and they put me in touch with my local Age UK. A volunteer came round to my parents’ home and he helped me fill out the claim form for both my parents.

“As a result, my dad was awarded lower-rate Attendance Allowance and got over £400 back in arrears. My mum was awarded the higher-rate Attendance Allowance and she got more than £650 in arrears.”

The lower rate for Attendance Allowance is currently £61.85 a week while those on the higher rate get £92.40.

The 10.1 percent payment boost from April 2023 means people on the lower rate will see their payments increase to £68.10 while the upper rate will increase to £101.73.

To be eligible for the benefit, a person must have reached state pension age and have a physical or mental disability.

Their condition must be severe enough for them to need help caring for themself or someone to supervise them.

They must also have needed the help for at least six months, unless they have six months or less to live.

People can get the application form by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 (textphone 0800 731 0317) or by download a claim form from the Government website.

When filling out the form, applicants are encouraged to be very clear about how their illness or disability affects their daily life.

Details to include in the form may be GP letters, care plans, or prescription lists. Once the form has been submitted, the Department of Work and Pensions may contact an applicant for more information or arrange a doctor visit.

People can prepare for this visit by noting things they think the doctor should know about their condition.

Tom’s parents also discovered they were eligible for other benefits. He said: “The man who came round to help me with the form also gave my parents a full benefits check. This meant that they went on to apply for Pension Credit and Carer’s Allowance.”

Carer’s Allowance and Pension Credit are also to increase by 10.1 percent next April, as announced in the Autumn Statement.

Carer’s Allowance is available to a person who cares for another person for 35 hours a week or more.

The benefit is increasing from £69.70 a week to £76.75 a week from next year, with claimants to get more than £300 a month.

Claimants must living in England, Scotland or Wales and must not be in full-time education or studying for 12 hours a week or more.

They should also have earnings of £132 or less a week after tax, National Insurance, and expenses.

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