The state pension can make up a significant part of regular income for those who are able to receive it. Those who have reached this age may also be able to claim an extra payment in order to help with day to day life.
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This is known as Attendance Allowance, a payment which helps with extra costs if a person has a disability severe enough that a person needs someone to help look after them.
The payment itself is paid at two different rates.
How much an eligible person gets will depend on the level of care that they need because of their disability.
The recipient does not need to have someone caring for them in order to claim.
The lower rate of Attendance Allowance is currently £59.70.
To get this rate, the government defines the level of help needed being: “Frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night.”
Meanwhile, those who need “help or supervision throughout both day and night”, or who are terminally ill, can get the higher rate.
This higher rate is currently £89.15.
It may also be the case that Attendance Allowance recipients are able to get extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, or Council Tax Reduction.
Unlike some government payments, Attendance Allowance is not means-tested.
This means that what a person earns or what they have in savings will not affect what they are able to get.
If a person lives in a care home and their care is paid for by the local authority, then they usually cannot get Attendance Allowance.
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Those who pay for all their care home costs themselves can still claim Attendance Allowance.
Attendance Allowance eligibility
A person can get Attendance Allowance if they’ve reached state pension age and the following apply:
- They have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both
- Their disability is severe enough for them to need help caring for themselves or someone to supervise them, for their own or someone else’s safety
- They have needed that help for at least six months (unless they’re terminally ill).
Additionally, an individual must also:
- Be in Great Britain when they 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 they’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).
There are some exceptions to the conditions if a person is living in a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.
If a person is terminally ill and not expected to live for more than six months, there are ‘special rules’.
These mean that there’s no qualifying period for how long a person has had the illness.
And, if they’re eligible for the payment, they will automatically get the higher rate.
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