The state pension age is now changing this year by October 2020, it will be now 66 for both men and women. This will be the age at which someone can claim their state pension. Thousands of people can claim Attendance Allowance but don’t know enough about the benefit to claim it.
Once you reach the state pension age you will be no longer able to claim PIP or DLA, if you are eligible for Attendance Allowance you should now claim it.
What is Attendance Allowance?
Attendance Allowance is a non-contributory social security benefit paid to elderly disabled people. It was introduced in the National Insurance Act 1970. It helps with extra costs if you have physical or mental disability severe enough that it makes it hard to look after yourself. It does not cover mobility needs.
Who can claim Attendance Allowance?
You can claim Attendance Allowance if you have a disability or illness and need help or supervision throughout the day or night. You can claim it if your in a hospice and if your living in a care home only if you pay for the home care costs yourself. You can also apply for it if your in hospital but wont get any money until you leave hospital. You don’t need to have someone caring for you currently to make the claim.
The help you need might include:
- Help with your personal care-for example: getting dressed, eating or drinking, bathing or showering, getting in and out of bed and going to the toilet.
- Help to stay safe.
You should also claim Attendance Allowance if you also have difficulties with personal tasks like:
- If it takes you a long time to do something simple.
- Experience pain or need physical help.
You should also claim Attendance Allowance if you have:
- A mental health condition.
- Learning difficulties.
- A sensory condition like if you are deaf or blind.
The 6 month rule
You must have had care or supervision needs because of your disability or illness for at least six months before you can get Attendance Allowance. You don’t need to have had a diagnosis for your condition to apply for Attendance Allowance. For example, you might still be having tests or appointments to find out what’s wrong with you. As long as you’ve needed help or supervision, or you’ve had difficulties, for six months because of your condition you can claim Attendance Allowance.
Who can’t claim Attendance Allowance?
- If you already get PIP.
- If you already get DLA.
If you apply for Attendance Allowance while getting DLA the Department for Work and Pensions will reassess your DLA award instead.
How much could you get on Attendance Allowance?
You could get either get £59.70 or £89.15 a week, it all depends on the level of care you need or get. You will get this monthly which would either be £238.80 or £356.60. You can spend this money however you like or you could spend it on taxis, cleaners or bills.
Does Attendance Allowance affect other benefits?
Claiming Attendance Allowance won’t reduce any other income you receive it is tax-free. Once your awarded Attendance Allowance you may become entitled to other benefits such as Pension credit, Housing benefit or Council tax reduction. If your already receiving Pension credit, Housing benefit or Council tax reduction you might receive an increase in these benefits.
How to make a claim?
You can make a claim by filling in the Attendance Allowance claim form or you can call the Attendance Allowance helpline on 08007310122. You can get help filling in the form by going to your nearest Citizen Advice.
Attendance Allowance can be backdated to the date of your claim. This is usually the date your form is received or the date you call the enquiry line.