Over 3.4 million disabled pensioners could be missing out on up to £4,500 a year in aid from the attendance allowance. The attendance allowance is a benefit for disabled pensioners 65 years and over who need assistance due to mental or physical disability, terminal illness, etc.
About 6.41 million people over 65 need help with daily activities such as dressing and washing. However, only 1.6 million people have claimed the benefit. As a result, about 3.4 million pensioners, those who could receive the benefit, miss out on the assistance they need.
What is the Attendance Allowance & Who is It For?
The attendance allowance is a benefit for people over 65 who need help at home due to a disability or illness. The benefit amount is determined by the level of care you need each day:
- £30 a week if you need help either during the day or at night
- £85.60 a week if you need help both day and night
You can receive the attendance allowance no matter how much you earn or have in savings. In addition, this benefit is not available to those who only have a mobility issue. The attendance allowance is made available to people who need regular care such as getting dressed, washing, etc. If you do have mobility issues with your disability, that’s not a problem. You can still claim the benefit.
This benefit is for anyone over 65 who has a long-term illness or disability. There are some additional requirements to receive this benefit.
- 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 2 of the last 3 years (this doesn’t 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)
There are additional exceptions and you can find this information on Gov.uk. In addition, if you receive the attendance allowance, the other benefits you receive may increase, too. For instance, you may for eligible for an extra housing benefit or pension credit.
A charity, Turn2us, has been concerned about people who are missing out on the help they need. David Samson, welfare benefit specialist at Turn2us, commented, “Unclaimed benefits are a huge issue in the UK.
“Whether it is because of an overly complicated system, societal stigma or simply not knowing, there are many reasons why people miss out on their own benefits.
“People over the age of 65 are especially likely to be missing out on their entitlements.
“We urge anyone who is unsure of what they are entitled to, to do a benefit calculation to see if there is anything they can claim.”
How Can I Find if I’m Eligible?
First, make sure you have read through the eligibility requirements above. In addition, you must have reached your state pension age of 65, and have a physical or mental disability, or be terminally ill. Physical and mental disabilities include blindness, learning difficulties, etc.
Your disability must be enough to make it difficult for you to manage day-to-day care of yourself over the last 6 (consecutive) months.
How to Claim
In order to apply, you’ll need to download the attendance allowance form from Gov.uk, fill out the form and then send it in by post.
The form should be sent to this address:
Attendance Allowance Unit
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton WV98 2AD
If you don’t have access to a printer or can’t print the form out, then you can call the attendance allowance helpline at 0800 731 0122 and ask them to send you a copy of the form.
The form will include questions about your condition, so you’ll have to include detailed information such as doctors and specialists who you see or have treated you. The form also asks about the medication you take. If you have a spare prescription, you’ll can also send this in with your form.
Details are Important on the Form
These details are important and are not meant to be invasive, instead they’ll give the assessors the information they need about your disability and/or illness. If some details aren’t clear, they may contact you and ask that you see a healthcare professional to examine you.
Don’t miss out on the help you need-be sure to apply for the attendance allowance and get help with your daily care.
If you need assistance with applying, help with making a claim or determining which benefits you can apply for, then be sure to reach out and contact your local Age UK , Citizens Advice, or the Turn2us organization.