Attendance Allowance claim may mean you get extra Pension Credit – how to check if you can
Pensions credit: Age UK reveals how to claim benefits
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It’s not means-tested, which means what a person earns or how much they have in savings won’t affect what they get. The payment is split into two rates, which are paid weekly.
The one a person gets depends on the level of help the person needs.
“Frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night,” is what the Government states when it comes to the lower rate – which is currently £60 per week.
The higher rate, meanwhile, is £89.60 per week.
For this, the level of help needed is: “Help or supervision throughout both day and night, or you’re terminally ill.”
It may be a person ends up getting a different rate if their circumstances change.
It is very important to be aware that changes of circumstances must be reported.
The Government warns: “You must contact the Attendance Allowance helpline straight away if:
- The level of help you need or your condition changes
- You go into hospital or a care home
- You leave the country for more than four weeks
- You go into prison
- You change your name, address or bank details
- You want to stop receiving your benefit
- Your doctor’s details change.”
Failing to report an aforementioned change in circumstances or giving the wrong information could result in the person being taken to court or having to pay a penalty.
As well as getting the weekly Attendance Allowance payment, people who claim it could potentially see other benefits they can get increase.
People should be aware that they don’t need to have someone caring for them in order to claim.
That said, those who do have a carer may want to note the carer could get Carer’s Allowance if the person has “substantial caring needs”.
Via the GOV.UK website, the Government states people who get Attendance Allowance could get extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, or Council Tax Reduction.
To check whether this is possible, they should ask the helpline or the office dealing with their benefit.
Attendance Allowance can be applied for by post, via the Attendance Allowance claim form.
It’s possible to call the Attendance Allowance helpline to ask for a copy of this form, or for the form in alternative formats – such as braille, large print or audio CD.
Who is eligible for Attendance Allowance?
If a person has reached state pension age, and the following criteria apply, they qualify for Attendance Allowance.
- They have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both
- Their 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
- They have needed that help for at least six months (unless they are terminally ill).
There are some additional rules, as the Government outlines: “You must also:
- Be in Great Britain when you claim – 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 if you’re a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)
- be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
- Not be subject to immigration control (unless you’re a sponsored immigrant).”
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