State pension age Britons may be able to get up to £89.60 a week extra – are you eligible?

Elderly care: Age UK explain the cost of care at home

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This includes Attendance Allowance – a payment which helps people with extra costs if they have a disability severe enough that they need someone to help to look after them. It’s only possible to claim it once the eligible person has reached state pension age.

The payment is paid at two different rates.

Currently these stand at £60 and £89.60 per week.

How much a person gets depends on the level of care that they need because of their disability.

As well as the cash payment, it may be Attendance Allowance enables a person to get additional forms of support.

For example, other benefits a person is entitled to may increase if they get Attendance Allowance.

Extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction could be available to Attendance Allowance recipients.

The Government directs people to check with the helpline or office dealing with their benefit.

The person doesn’t need to have someone caring for them in order to claim.

If they do have a carer though, the carer could potentially get Carer’s Allowance if they have substantial caring needs.

Attendance Allowance is not means-tested.

This means what a person earns or how much they have in savings will not affect what they get.

Attendance Allowance rates

To get the lower rate of £60, the level of help needed is defined as: “Frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night.”

On the level of help needed for the higher rate, the Government says: “Help or supervision throughout both day and night, or you’re terminally ill.”

If circumstances change, then it may be the person gets a different rate.

There are several instances when changes will need to be reported.

GOV.UK states: “You must contact the Attendance Allowance helpline straight away if:

  • The level of help you need or your condition changes
  • You go into hospital or a care home
  • You leave the country for more than four 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

“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.”

Who is eligible for Attendance Allowance?

GOV.UK states a person can get Attendance Allowance if they have reached state pension age and “the following apply:

  • You have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both
  • Your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or someone to supervise you, for your own or someone else’s safety
  • You have needed that help for at least six months (unless you’re terminally ill)

“You must also:

  • 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 two of the last three years (this does not 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).”

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