Attendance Allowance: UK's 'most underclaimed' benefit to jump to over £5k

Over a million people could be missing out on this payment.

Attendance Allowance
© Colin Watts / UNSPLASH
Attendance Allowance

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will increase benefits in the UK from April. One of these will increase to £5645 a year yet, according to research from Policy in Practice and and it is one of the ‘most underclaimed’ payments.

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An estimated 1.1million people are missing out on Attendance Allowance, a benefit given to those over the State Pension age who need assistance with day-to-day life because of an illness or disability.

This comes shortly after DWP issued a warning to let claimants know about a new change in payment date this month.

Indeed, there are a few things to watch out for in February, given that the last £299 cost of living payment is to hit bank accounts during the course of the month. So, let’s take a look at Attendance Allowance eligibility, rates of payment, and how to claim.

Attendance Allowance eligibility

Usually, there is a set list of criteria that you have to fulfil in order to access financial aid from the government. However, as with the disability benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP), there is no concrete way to determine whether you will qualify or not. This is because the benefit depends on what sort of care you need to live your everyday life.

This could include help with bathing, getting dressed, going to the loo, or help with medication and mealtimes. You could also qualify if you need someone there to assist you when you get confused or lost.

Two rates of pay

This benefit is also paid at two different rates, depending on the level of care required. The lower rate is currently set at a weekly sum of £68.10 and the higher rate of £101.75. If you qualify for the higher rate, this means you would receive £440.92 a month and £5,291 a year.

So, how to know which would apply to you? Well, the lower rate is given to people who need help either during the day or the night while the higher rate is applied for those who need help during the day and the night, or who are terminally ill. Both rates will see an increase in April 2024 in relation to September 2023’s inflation figure of 6.7%. This means that the weekly sum will go up to £72.65 for the lower rate and £108.55 for the higher. Looking at it on a yearly basis, this means that the maximum you could receive would be £5,645 a year.

Claiming Attendance Allowance

To apply for this allowance, you need to print off the application form, fill it out, and send it to the DWP. You can download it from here, and if you need help with it you can call the helpline at 0800 731 0122.

In the form, you’ll be asked to explain how your illness or disability impacts your daily life. You will also need to include supporting documents from your GP, or detailing your care plans or prescriptions. In three weeks, you should receive a text or letter telling you when you can expect to find out how much you’ll be allocated. Once this has been determined, you will get a letter that details how much you will receive and when you should expect the payment.

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Sources used:

Mirror: DWP 'most underclaimed benefit' payment set to rise to £5,645 a year - can you claim? Attendance Allowance

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