DWP Attendance Allowance changes that claimants must report or face penalties - see full list

Attendance Allowance claimants must declare changes in their circumstances to the DWP
Attendance Allowance claimants must declare changes in their circumstances to the DWP -Credit:PA

People who claim Attendance Allowance are being warned about the changes they must report to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Figures from the DWP show that at the end of August last year, there were more than 1.5 million people across Britain receiving Attendance Allowance. This is a tax-free benefit designed to help older people with daily living expenses which could also help them stay independent in their own home for longer.

You could receive £72.65 if you need help during the day or at night or £108.55 if you need help during the day and at night, or if you are terminally ill. The benefit is paid every four weeks, which means you could receive either £290.60 or £434.20 every pay period. Attendance does not affect your State Pension and you can even claim it if you're still working and earning money.

However, many claimants may not be aware that there are several changes in circumstances which must be reported to the DWP’s Attendance Allowance helpline as soon as possible - especially if your condition changes - as they could affect your benefit, reports the Daily Record. DWP guidance on the GOV.UK website warns: “You could be taken to court or have to pay a penalty if you give wrong information or do not report a change in your circumstances.”

The guidance goes on to list changes that claimants must report. These are outlined below.

Report a change in circumstances

If your circumstances change, the amount you get from Attendance Allowance may go up or down.

You must contact the Attendance Allowance helpline straight away if:

  • the level of help you need or your condition changes - you’ll need to provide details like if the amount of times you need help each day has changed

  • you go into hospital or a care home - you’ll need to provide the address, the dates you’ve been there for, and how your stay is paid for

  • a medical professional has said you might have 12 months or less to live

  • you plan to leave the country for more than 4 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

  • your immigration status changes, if you’re not a British citizen

If you're not sure if a change affects your Attendance Allowance benefit, it's worthwhile contacting the DWP to check - full details are on GOV.UK here.

Reporting a change if you need more help

You should consider contacting the DWP to report a change if you feel you need more help for a disability or illness. This could be additional help or supervision throughout the day or at times during the night -even if you do not currently get that help.

This could 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 consider reporting a change if you are experiencing more difficulties completing 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. But remember, Attendance Allowance is not just for people with a physical disability or illness.

You should also consider reporting a change if you need more help or supervision throughout the day or night and have:

  • a mental health condition

  • learning difficulties

  • a sensory condition - if you are deaf or blind

You can contact the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122, Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. Full details about reporting a change can be found on the GOV.UK website here.