Attendance Allowance recipients get Christmas Bonus this week – see if you’re eligible

Martin Lewis gives details on claiming attendance allowance

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The £10 payment is due to those who receive eligible benefits during the ‘qualifying week’ which is generally the first full week of December. Having successfully qualified, Attendance Allowance recipients should be receiving the automatic payment this week but what can one do if they don’t receive it?

The annual Christmas bonus is normally an automatic payment made in early December that is entirely tax-free and will not affect any benefits one receives.

Eligible recipients should expect the extra £10 to land in the same account that their benefits are paid into. 

The payment may show up on their bank statements as “DWP XB” and those living in or moving to the EU, EEA or Switzerland are advised to check their eligibility on the Gov.uk website. 

In order to be eligible for the bonus, one must be receiving at least one of the following benefits within the “qualifying week” which was last week:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Disability Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Mobility Supplement
  • Pension Credit – the guarantee element
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance (transitionally protected)
  • Unemployability Supplement or Allowance (paid under Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes)
  • Widowed Mother’s Allowance
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance

This is not a comprehensive list of eligible benefits, one can be found on the Gov.uk website. 

Additionally, if eligible recipients are married, in a civil partnership or living together as if they are and are both receiving qualifying benefits then they should both expect the Christmas bonus payment. 

However, if one’s partner does not receive one of the qualifying benefits they could still be entitled to the bonus if both of the following apply:

  • Both people are over state pension age by the end of the qualifying week
  • They are both present or “ordinarily resident” in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man Gibraltar, EEA or Switzerland during the qualifying week

The payment should be automatic but those receiving Attendance Allowance during the qualifying week and do not receive the bonus are advised to contact the Jobcentre Plus office or Pension Service that deals with their benefits payments.

Attendance Allowance is paid to those with a disability so severe that they need someone to help them. 

It is generally paid at two different rates depending on one’s needs and their disability with the lower rate being £60 for those that need frequent help or contact supervision during the day or night and £89.60 for those who need help or supervision throughout the day and night or are terminally ill. 

Despite this, the benefit is not mean-tested so will not be influenced by one’s income or their savings. 

These payments do not cover mobility needs but any other benefits one receives could be increased if they receive Attendance Allowance.

To be eligible for Attendance Allowance the following must all apply and they have to have reached state pension age:

  • Have a physical disability, mental disability or both
  • The disability must be severe enough for them to be incapable of caring or supervising themselves either for their own or someone else’s safety
  • Additional help must be needed for at least six months except in the case of terminally ill recipients
  • Applicants are in Great Britain when they claim although some exceptions apply
  • They have been in Great Britain for at least two of the last three years except for refugees or those with humanitarian protection status
  • Be a habitual resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or Channel Islands
  • Not be subject to immigration control unless they are a sponsored immigrant

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