State pension: People 'rely on the DWP' to get sums right
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Attendance Allowance is a benefit payment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which is designed to help recipients with the additional costs which arise from living with a severe disability. Claimants do not need to be on Carer’s Allowance or have someone looking after them in order to get this payment. However, in order to qualify for Attendance Allowance, applicants must be of the state pension of 66 or older.
It is paid at two different rates which are awarded to those who are eligible depending on the severity of their disability or condition.
The lower weekly rate is £60 for claimants who need “frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night”, according to the DWP.
In comparison, the higher monthly rate stands at £89.60 for those who require “help or supervision throughout both day and night, or you’re terminally ill”.
This means a state pension claimant who is eligible for the highest amount of Attendance Allowance would receive £358.40 every four weeks.
Unlike other payments, Attendance Allowance is not means-tested which means what a claimant earns or how much they have saved will not affect what the DWP gives them.
Claimants could get more Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction if they are on Attendance Allowance
Further guidance for state pension claimants on Attendance Allowance is available through Citizens Advice, which advises people to report any changes to their circumstances while on the benefit.
Specifically, the financial advice service tells those in receipt of Attendance Allowance to inform the DWP of any changes if their condition gets better or worse, or if the level of assistance they receive needs changed.
As well as this, claimants must tell the DWP if they have moved into a hospital for 28 days or a care home.
On its website, Citizens Advice states: “If you go back into hospital or a care home within 28 days of leaving, it counts as part of the same stay.
“If you’re staying in hospital or a care home for longer than 28 days, tell the DWP if you go home at all – even for only part of a day.
“There are lots of changes that can affect Attendance Allowance and these are just some examples.
“If you’re not sure if a change affects your Attendance Allowance, it’s best to tell the DWP anyway.”
The best way state pension claimants can update the DWP regarding their circumstances is by calling the Attendance Allowance hotline on 0800 731 0122.
For those who struggle to speak or are unable to, they can type what they want to say through Relay UK. The message can be sent to 18001 then 0800 731 0122.
This helpline is open Monday to Friday between 8am to 3:30pm, and all calls and texts are free from mobile or landline.
Anyone who is interested in putting forward an application for Attendance Allowance is encouraged by the DWP to get in touch to begin the process.
Further guidance on what other benefits state pension claimants can claim can be found on the Citizens Advice website.
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