Pensioner calls for his state pension to be 'unfrozen'
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Administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Attendance Allowance is a disability benefit payment available to those of a certain age. If someone were to receive the full amount of Attendance Allowance, they could get payments of £358.40 a month. Attendance Allowance is designed to help vulnerable people with the extra costs that come about from having a disability or health condition, if they are of the state pension age.
Currently, residents in the UK are eligible for the state pension once they turn 66 and need at least 35 years of National Insurance contributions to receive the full amount.
For applicants to qualify for Attendance Allowance, the DWP must determine whether their disability or condition is “severe” enough to get support.
The benefit payment is made up of two separate rates – one higher and the other lower – which are given after the DWP’s assessment into the severity of the claimant’s circumstances.
Attendance Allowance’s lower rate is £60 a week and is given if the claimant needs “frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night”, according to the DWP.
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The DWP benefit payment’s weekly higher rate of £89.60 is given to those who need “help or supervision throughout both day and night, or you’re terminally ill”.
This means that if someone were to successfully claim the full amount of Attendance Allowance’s higher rate, they would receive £358.40 a month.
To apply for this means of support, older Britons should print out the Attendance Allowance claim form which can be found on the gov.uk website.
The completed form must be sent to Freepost DWP Attendance Allowance for the application to be processed.
Outside of Attendance Allowance, those on the state pension may be able to claim other benefits if they are on the DWP payment.
State pensioners could be eligible for extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or a Council Tax Reduction if they claim Attendance Allowance.
Despite the financial boost offered by this benefit payment, those on the state pension may be at risk of losing it if they fail to report changes to their circumstances.
The DWP must be informed of any potential changes which could affect the amount of money someone receives in their claim.
This can include being out of the country for an extended period of time or someone’s health condition getting better.
However, it can also refer to someone’s name or address being changed, or their doctors details having to be updated.
If an Attendance Allowance claimant fails to do this they could be taken to court or be forced to pay a financial penalty if they provide false information or withhold any vital information.
Recipients of the state pension can report changes to the DWP by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122.
Recently, the UK Government has made an active push to advertise its various disability benefit payments which are available through the DWP.
Chloe Smith, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, explained why pensioners with a disability should apply for Attendance Allowance as soon as possible.
Ms Smith explained: “Living with a long-term illness or disability can have a profound effect on daily life, both for those with a diagnosis and those who care for them, so it’s vitally important you are receiving all the help you are entitled to.
“Millions of people already receive this support and I would urge anyone who thinks they may be eligible for extra financial help to check online.”
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