Living with a hearing or sight condition could create challenges, and may come with additional expenses. To help those of state pension age in this position, Attendance Allowance is a benefit designed to cover extra costs.
It is meant for those with a disability or health condition severe enough that help is required, but Britons do not need someone caring for them in order to claim.
According to the RNID, those who are deaf or have hearing loss may be eligible for this support.
The NHS states hearing loss can be common, especially as a person gets older, and there are lots of possible causes.
These can include ageing, damage, labyrinthitis or Meniere’s disease, for example.
However, hearing loss could impact an individual’s day-to-day life, such as their ability to communicate.
In a similar sense, sight issues could also have a drastic impact on a person’s life, making them potentially eligible for Attendance Allowance.
Such conditions can include diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macula degeneration and cataracts.
The RNIB states a person does not have to be registered as blind (severely sight impaired) or partially sighted (sight impaired) to claim.
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Instead, claims in this instance will be assessed on how a person’s sight impacts their daily living.
Attendance Allowance is split into two rates, and the one a person gets depends on the level of help they need.
The lower rate is currently £68.10, and intended for those who need frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night.
The higher rate is set at £101.75, and the Government website states this is for those who require “help or supervision throughout both day and night”.
As a result, those on the higher rate of the payment should expect a boost of nearly £5,300 a year for support.
There are two main ways to claim Attendance Allowance:
- Print and submit the Attendance Allowance claim form
- Contact the helpline to request a claim form.
The form comes with notes, informing Britons how they will need to fill it in.
Once the form is completed, it can be sent to Freepost DWP Attendance Allowance. Potential claimants do not need a postcode or a stamp to return the form.
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Those who are successful in their claim will see Attendance Allowance paid from the start of their claim.
Unlike other payments such as Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance cannot be backdated.
The Government website explains: “If you print and post the form, your claim will start on the date the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) receives it.
“If you call the helpline to request a form, your claim will start on the date of your call (if you return the form within six weeks).
“After you’ve applied, you’ll get a text or letter within three weeks that explains how long it’ll take to get a decision. Once the decision has been made, you’ll get a letter explaining the outcome.
“If you’ve been awarded Attendance Allowance, this will tell you when you’ll get your first payment.”
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