Attendance Allowance is available to Britons who have reached state pension age who are physically or mentally disabled. It could make a huge difference in someone’s life as successful claimants can get up to £358 a month, but failing to report certain changes will result in this being lost.
Claimants have an obligation to update the Government department of any changes to their circumstances.This is because any potential circumstance changes could affect how much claimants receive in financial assistance.
Examples of what qualifies as a circumstance change includes if the level of help a claimant needs is updated or their condition worsens.
A circumstance change can also include being away for a long period of time, such as leaving the country for more than four weeks on an extended holiday or going to prison.
Furthermore, if a state pensioner’s personal details (name, address or bank details) or that of their doctor’s change, they must report them as soon as possible.
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Anyone who is not a British citizen who is claiming Attendance Allowance should inform the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if their immigration status changes.
Failing to accurately report a circumstance change to DWP could result in someone being taken to court.
If not this, they may be forced to pay a financial penalty if they withhold or provide false information about their Attendance Allowance claim.
Anyone who needs to update the DWP about any circumstance changes can call the Attendance Allowance helpline at 0800 731 0122.
Chloe Smith, the Government’s minister for disabled people, health and work, emphasised the importance of people applying for these DWP benefits as soon as possible, if they are eligible.
Ms Smith explained: “Living with a long-term illness or disability can have a profound effect on daily life, both for those with a diagnosis and those who care for them.
“So it’s vitally important you are receiving all the help you are entitled to.
“Millions of people already receive this support and I would urge anyone who thinks they may be eligible for extra financial help to check online.”
All benefits are increasing by 3.1 percent in a couple of weeks which will add up to an extra £145.60 a year for people who receive Attendance Allowance.
Annually, this will mean people receive £4,804.80, instead of £4,659.20.This is a yearly increase of £145.60.
The benefit currently offers £89.60 for those on a higher rate and £60 for anyone receiving a lower rate of Attendance Allowance.
People who need help or supervision throughout both day and night could get the higher rate of £89.60.
The lower rate is provided for those that need “limited” supervision or care during either the day or night.
Britons are encouraged to fill out the form to claim what they are entitled to, as Attendance Allowance is not just financial assistance.
Successfully claiming Attendance Allowance can also qualify Britons for various other benefits such as Pension Credit, council tax reduction or housing benefit.