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The payment helps those with the extra costs that arise from having a long-term health condition or illness, like arthritis. The Department for Work and Pensions offer the financial support via Attendance Allowance.
Pensioners who are eligible could get as much as £92 a week in financial assistance.
Claimants must be over the state pension age (currently 66) and have a type of disability or illness.
This can include anything from learning difficulties, sight or hearing impairments, to mobility issues such as arthritis, or mental health issues such as dementia.
Claimants should prove they could benefit from help with personal care, such as getting washed or dressed, eating and drinking, or needing supervision to keep them safe during the day or night.
Applicants need to prove that they have been in need of help for at least six months to be eligible.
However, how much someone gets in Attendance Allowance from the DWP is dependent on the “severity” of their arthritis or other condition.
Arthritis is a common condition causing pain and inflammation in a joint. Joint pain can have various causes including gout, bursitis, joint infection or arthritis.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are perhaps the most common and can cause pain, and discomfort and sometimes limit mobility.
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Britons may take medical treatment to help ease any long-term pain such as steroid injections, painkillers or surgery.
Eligible people with arthritis or joint pain are encouraged to consider Attendance Allowance as it could provide important support.
It is thought hundreds of thousands are not claiming despite qualifying for the support.
However claiming could make a sizeable difference to a person’s finances as at its highest rate, the benefit can be worth up to £400.40 a month, which works out to be around £4,804.80 a year.
Attendance Allowance is paid at two rates, the lower rate and the higher rate. The amount eligible claimants receive is calculated based on how much help is required, not any current help the person does or doesn’t get.
The new lower and higher payment rates that will come into effect in April are as follows:
- Lower rate: £68.10 per week (up from £61.85)
- Higher rate: £101.75 per week (up from £92.40).
People who need help during the day or at night could be eligible for the lower rate, whereas people who need help during both the day and at night or have a terminal illness, could be eligible for the higher rate.
Britons can use the money however they chose to, such as covering the cost of bills.
Attendance Allowance isn’t a means-tested benefit, which means current savings or income won’t affect the claim, nor will it impact other benefits received.
In fact, it could actually help with eligibility for other benefits, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, or Council Tax Reduction.
To claim, people need to fill out an Attendance Allowance form, clearly outlining the help they do need, as well as the help they don’t.
To pick up a form, people can either call the helpline on 0800 731 0122 or download it from the Government website, here.
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