State Pension provides essential financial support for over 12.4 million older people across the UK, including some 981,399 individuals living in Scotland.
This regular payment is available for those who have reached the UK Government’s eligible retirement age, which is now 66 for both men and women.
State Pension is not paid automatically, it has to be claimed by those of eligible age, because some people choose to defer making a claim in order to keep working and contribute more towards their pension pot. However, many older people may be missing out on an additional benefit payment they could be eligible to claim which is worth up to £369.60 every four weeks.
Some people of State Pension age, and older, are failing to claim Attendance Allowance, a benefit which helps individuals with daily living expenses and can help them stay independent, in their own home for longer.
As the nation braces for rocketing energy bills, rising inflation and higher living costs, now is the ideal time for older people to make sure they are claiming all the financial support they are entitled to.
Lots of people are entitled to Attendance Allowance but may not know enough about it to make a claim.
Here is everything you need to know about the benefit, including payments and how to make a claim to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
What is Attendance Allowance?
Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if you have a physical or mental disability or illness severe enough that makes it hard for you to look after yourself – it does not cover mobility needs.
You do not need to have someone caring for you in order to make a claim.
Who can claim?
You should apply for Attendance Allowance if you have a disability or illness and need help or supervision throughout the day or at times during the night -even if you don’t currently get that help.
This might include:
Help with your personal care – for example getting dressed, eating or drinking, getting in and out of bed, bathing or showering and going to the toilet
Help to stay safe
You should also apply if you have difficulties with personal tasks, for example if they take you a long time, you experience pain or you need physical help, like a chair to lean on.
Attendance Allowance isn’t just for people with a physical disability or illness.
You should also claim if you need help or supervision throughout the day or night and have:
How much could I get on Attendance Allowance?
You could receive either £61.85 or £92.40 a week depending on the level of care you need because of your condition, which is paid every four weeks and works out at £247.40 and £369.60 per pay period respectively.
You can spend the money however you like and it could help you stay independent in your own home for longer.
This might include:
Can I claim Attendance Allowance even if I have savings and other income?
And it is. Attendance Allowance isn’t means-tested so it doesn’t matter what other money you have coming in or how much you have in savings either – there’s no limit.
it is also tax-free and you will be exempt from the Benefit Cap so you won’t have money taken away from any other benefits.
Will Attendance Allowance affect my State Pension?
No, it won’t affect your State Pension and you can even claim it if you’re still working and earning money.
How does Attendance Allowance affect other benefits?
The other benefits you get might increase if you get Attendance Allowance, these include:
How do I make a claim?
You will need to complete a long claim form when you apply for Attendance Allowance.
It might seem daunting at first but help is available from your nearest Citizens Advice, so don’t let the form put you off applying.
If you’d prefer to do it yourself you can follow the Citizens Advice guide on how to fill in your claim form here.
Full details of how to get the application form by post or over the phone can be found on the GOV.UK website here.
What happens if I am about to reach State Pension age?
If you are thinking about applying for Attendance Allowance when you reach State Pension age, you might be better off claiming PIP straight away – you may be able to get more money.
If you claim PIP and get it, the amount you receive will depend on your circumstances and how your disability or illness affects you.
Find out more about claiming PIP here.
Who cannot claim Attendance Allowance?
You won’t be able to get Attendance Allowance if you already get PIP or DLA to pay for your care.
If you apply for Attendance Allowance while getting DLA, the DWP will usually reassess your DLA award instead.
You can renew your PIP or DLA when the existing award ends as long as you still meet the eligibility criteria.
If your renewal is unsuccessful you can apply for Attendance Allowance instead.
Find out more about Attendance Allowance on the GOV.UK website here.
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