State pension payments can be particularly important to older people, especially those who have left the workforce, and rely upon the income stream. The full sum stands at £179.60, however, what people actually get will depend on the National Insurance contributions they have made throughout their lifetime. However, regardless of what a person actually receives from the state pension, many could find themselves eligible for an extra payment which is designed to help with health conditions or disabilities.
The payment, known as Attendance Allowance, can assist with associated costs which may arise due to a person’s condition.
It is described by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as helping with “extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you”.
However, the person claiming does not have to have someone caring for them in order to be eligible.
This could be the case for individuals who are living with joint pain, which can come in numerous forms, but can also put limitations on day to day activities as well as general getting around.
It can be received by those with a physical or mental disability or both, who have needed assistance for at least six months.
The payment is non-means-tested, meaning what a person earns or how much they have in savings does not affect what they get.
It is issued weekly to those who are eligible to receive this kind of support.
The lower rate is set at £60, and this is for those who need frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night.
The higher rate, however, increases to £89.60, and it is intended for those who need help or supervision throughout both day and night, or those who are terminally ill.
As a result, someone on the higher rate of Attendance Allowance could get approximately £358 per month to help them.
If someone’s circumstances change, they could get a different rate, and thus they will need to keep the DWP in the loop about the matter.
There are also other benefits which come with a claim for Attendance Allowance that many people of state pension age will be interested in.
People could get extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction if they get Attendance Allowance, and it is worth checking with the helpline or office which deals with the benefit.
All forms of payment will be issued into a person’s bank, building society or credit union account for ease of access.
To apply for Attendance Allowance, people will need to use the claim form in order to submit their application by post.
The form will come with notes which guide a person on how to fill it in, and it can be sent back to Freepost DWP Attendance Allowance without a postcode or stamp.
Attendance Allowance can be backdated to the date a claim is made. It is usually the date the form is received, or the date a person calls the enquiry line, as long as the claim pack is then returned within six weeks.