Attendance Allowance: Could you or your loved one be entitled to it?

A little extra money can make a difference to the life of an older person, yet those who may be entitled to Attendance Allowance may be unaware that they could be benefiting from it.

Seniors wanting to remain living independently in their own home can use the attendance allowance towards the cost of care services, mobility aids or even adaptations in their home.

To be eligible for this, you must be aged 65 or over and have;

-          A physical disability- for example hearing or vision impairment

-          A mental disability- for example learning difficulties or dementia

-          Needed help for at least 6 months

This tax-free benefit is available to help pay for the cost of personal care and is awarded based on what you need, not what you’re receiving at present. This means you are still eligible even if you don’t currently have a carer.

The allowance is not means-tested, therefore no information needs to be shared regarding income or savings.

It is paid directly into your bank account, making it up to you how to spend it.

Attendance Allowance has two pay rates:

-          Lower rate (£55.10 a week)- to receive this you require frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night

-          Higher rate (£82.30 a week)- to receive this you require help or supervision throughout both day and night, or if you are terminally ill

Although attendance allowance will not reduce other income you may receive, local authorities and social services may take it into account when judging how much you should pay towards any of their care services you receive.

When filling in the application it is important to describe any accidents, falls or affects you may have experienced had whilst trying to cope in day to day life with a disability or any health conditions you may have. List the things you struggle to do unaided and be sure to highlight how often you need help, even though it may feel like you are repeating yourself. Even if you have found your own way of coping with something, this is still something you would otherwise require help with. It is also relevant to list anything you need reminding of or encouraged to do.

Examples that would be relevant include help looking after your appearance and checking clothing after eating, help to find matching shoes or your coat, reading labels or post, opening containers, setting appliance dials, even help with communicating.

The attendance allowance covers needs such as washing, bathing, looking after appearance, going to the toilet, help with medical treatment, supervision, getting dressed or undressed, mealtimes, communicating and getting around indoors. However, it doesn’t take into account problems with housework, cooking, shopping or gardening, so bare this in mind when you describe what you need help with.

To receive the benefit, fill in and return the following form: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/attendance-allowance-claim-form

If you need any advice, or want a form to be sent in the post, the Attendance Allowance helpline is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm:

Telephone: 0345 605 6055

Textphone: 0345 604 5312

Once your form is submitted, the decision with be confirmed in writing, which usually takes 40 days to process. This said, the claim CAN be backdated.

It’s important that those that need help and support are able to access it, without having to worry about whether they can afford to do so. If you or someone you know might be eligible, it is worth applying and hopefully begin receiving what you are entitled to.

From our office in Abergele, Home Instead are really proud to be able to provide care, help and support for seniors wanting to remain living independently in their own homes. Rewarding careers are also available for their CAREGivers all across North Wales; including Abergele, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Conwy, Denbigh, Holywell, Llandudno, Ruthin, Prestatyn, Llanrwst and everywhere in between!

For more information, please contact the office on 01745 772150.

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