Older people already claiming Attendance Allowance may be able to increase monthly payments by £143

The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that at the end of August last year, there were over 1.5 million people across Great Britain receiving additional financial support through Attendance Allowance. The data also indicated that over 136,200 people living in Scotland are currently receiving either £72.65 or £108.55 each week through the benefit.

Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit, delivered by the DWP and designed to help older people with daily living expenses which could also help them stay independent in their own home for longer. However, for some people, whose condition may have worsened or they have developed further health issues since their award began, it may be necessary to contact the DWP to report a change of circumstances.

This is something that shouldn’t be put off as reporting a change in your circumstances could lead to higher payments for those on the standard rate.

It’s important to be aware that DWP guidance states that if your circumstances change, the amount you get from Attendance Allowance may go up or down.

If you are currently on the lower rate of £72.65 per week, your payments could increase by £35.90 to the higher rate of £108.55. This would see four-weekly payments increase from £290.60 to £434.20 - some £143.60 every pay period.

The guidance also lists several reasons for contacting them about a change in your circumstances if you are claiming Attendance Allowance.

This includes:

  • 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 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

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.

The most common condition claimed on Attendance Allowance is arthritis (29%) with some 416,313 people receiving support for it.

However, there are more than 50 conditions being supported by Attendance Allowance and even if you’re already claiming for one of these, another may have developed or your current condition may have become more debilitating.

Health issues supported by Attendance Allowance

Support is also provided for People who are terminally ill.

  • Arthritis

  • Spondylosis

  • Back Pain – Other / Precise Diagnosis not Specified

  • Disease of The Muscles, Bones or Joints

  • Trauma to Limbs

  • Blindness

  • Deafness

  • Heart disease

  • Chest disease

  • Asthma

  • Cystic Fibrosis

  • Cerebrovascular Disease

  • Peripheral vascular Disease

  • Epilepsy

  • Neurological Diseases

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Parkinson's

  • Motor Neurone Disease

  • Chronic Pain Syndromes

  • Diabetes Mellitus

  • Metabolic Disease

  • Traumatic Paraplegia/Tetraplegia

  • Major Trauma Other than Traumatic Paraplegia/Tetraplegia

  • Learning Difficulties

  • Psychosis

  • Psychoneurosis

  • Personality Disorder

  • Dementia

  • Behavioural Disorder

  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse

  • Hyperkinetic Syndrome

  • Renal Disorders

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Bowel and Stomach Disease

  • Blood Disorders

  • Haemophilia

  • Multi System Disorders

  • Multiple Allergy Syndrome

  • Skin Disease

  • Malignant Disease

  • Severely Mentally impaired

  • Double Amputee

  • Deaf/Blind

  • Haemodialysis

  • Frailty

  • Total Parenteral Nutrition

  • AIDS

  • Terminally ill

How much could I get on Attendance Allowance?

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.

You can spend the money however you like and it could help you stay independent in your own home for longer.

This might include:

  • paying for taxis

  • helping towards bills

  • paying for a cleaner or gardener

Can I claim Attendance Allowance even if I have savings and other income?

Yes. 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:

  • Extra Pension Credit

  • Housing Benefit Reduction

  • Council Tax Reduction

Full guidance on Attendance Allowance can be found on GOV.UK here.

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