State pensioners slam DWP and say Attendance Allowance is impossible to claim

Attendance Allowance: Age UK helps man claim benefit

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Pensioners are the most likely group of Britons to be missing out on benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), according to Age UK. Yet readers have been telling how they believe the DWP makes it impossible to claim Attendance Allowance worth up to £370 a month.

As the cost of living crisis continues to cripple Britons’ pockets, charities are urging people to check they are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to and not just relying on the state pension.

However, readers have been writing into, claiming the DWP makes it difficult for Britons to claim benefits like PIP and Attendance Allowance, suggesting this could be why they are underclaimed.

One reader, 66-year-old Eileen Riley said she has worked hard all her life but now can’t claim either PIP or Attendance Allowance despite the fact she has been unable to work for several months.

She said: “I haven’t been able to work since May.

“I got a letter from my consultant, stating a full hip replacement is what’s needed.

“I’ve always worked, never claimed benefits and I’m pension age yet I can’t claim PIP because I’m 66.

“Something isn’t right – other people like me need this money.”

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Attendance Allowance is paid to people who have reached state pension age if they have a disability or health condition, but they must have struggled for at least six months unless they are seriously ill.

Exactly how much someone receives depends on how their condition affects them, however, they don’t necessarily need to have a full time carer to qualify.

Ms Riley is not the only person to get in touch with to complain about the process for claiming Attendance Allowance.

A pensioner from Nottingham got in touch to tell she was sick of hearing the DWP reminding people to claim for benefits. 

The 77-year-old said she struggled to apply for Attendance Allowance for her mother.

She and her husband spent an entire weekend filling out the forms which they said were unnecessarily complicated.

Lynda said: “It brings you down and makes you question, ‘Is it worth it?’

“I don’t know how an elderly person with no support is expected to fill this in.”

In response, the DWP said it couldn’t comment on the individual case without knowing the details, but Britons can apply for Carer’s Allowance and Pension Credit if they have reached state pension age.

Attendance Allowance applicants are advised to:

  • Remember to write about the help the applicant needs
  • Write in the blank boxes
  • Don’t expect the person making the decision to know about someone’s condition
  • Remember to say how many times help is needed with tasks
  • It’s fine to repeat the same information in different answers
  • Mention any adaptations in the relevant question
  • Explain if the applicant has good and bad days
  • Explain if certain tasks take longer.
  • People can ask Age UK for help filling out benefit forms.

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