People over State Pension age with a heart condition could be due up to £434 each month

The latest figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show there are now more than 1.5 million people over State Pension age receiving regular financial support for a health condition through Attendance Allowance, including 136,252 living in Scotland. The benefit is worth either £72.65 or £108.55 each week - £290.60 or £434.20 every four-week pay period - and is designed to help older people with additional daily living expenses stay in their own home for longer.

The DWP provides support for dozens of health conditions through Attendance Allowance, with more than 110,600 people receiving payments to help with heart-related issues, including angina, coronary heart disease, arrhythmia and high blood pressure. The most common heart condition in Scotland is coronary heart disease.

This is caused when the heart’s blood vessels - the coronary arteries - become narrowed or blocked and can’t supply enough blood to the heart, it can lead to angina and/or a heart attack.

Another common condition is angina - chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscles - which is not usually life threatening, but more of a warning sign you could be at risk of a heart attack or stroke. It is estimated there are 96,000 new cases of angina each year, with approximately two million people in the UK now diagnosed with the condition.

The main symptom of angina is chest pain, this can:

  • feel like a dull pain, ache, 'heavy' or 'tight' feeling in your chest

  • spread to your arms, neck, jaw or back

  • be triggered by physical exertion

With treatment and healthy lifestyle changes, it's possible to control angina and reduce the risk of these more serious problems.

If you have a heart-related condition and find it difficult to complete simple tasks like cooking, washing or getting dressed, you could be eligible for Attendance Allowance.

Older people claiming Attendance Allowance for heart conditions

Number of people currently receiving the benefit for a heart condition across Great Britain:

  • Scotland - 9,902

  • England - 92,993

  • Wales - 7,431

  • Living abroad - 337

  • Total - 110,666

Below is an overview of what you should know about the benefit, including how to start your application for Attendance Allowance on GOV.UK.

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:

  • a mental health condition

  • learning difficulties

  • a sensory condition - if you are deaf or visually impaired

An unidentified older man is clutching his chest
More than 110,500 older people are receiving Attendance Allowance support for heart conditions. -Credit:Getty

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

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 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) straight away - you may be able to get more money.

Who cannot claim Attendance Allowance?

You won't be able to get Attendance Allowance if you already get PIP or Disability Living Allowance (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.