Retirees could get financial support through the Attendance Allowance, which helped them cover their living costs and allowed them to continue to be independent in their own homes. Thousands of Britons might be eligible for the benefit, but many people may not have heard of or know enough about it.
With that in mind, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has created a new online guide to help more retirees understand if they are eligible and how they can apply.
Assistance allowance helps people with a disability severe enough that they need someone to take care of them. It is paid at two different rates, depending on the level of care required due to a disability.
People above state retirement age could receive £ 60 or £ 89.60 per week for personal assistance if they are physically or mentally disabled. The assistance allowance does not cover mobility needs.
People who need frequent help or constant supervision during the day or supervision at night can benefit from the lower rate of £ 60 per week. This means that beneficiaries of lower rates could get an additional income of £ 240 each month, or £ 3,120 per year.
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Those who need help or supervision day or night, or who are terminally ill are entitled to the higher rate of £ 89.60. At the highest rate, beneficiaries would get £ 358.40 per month or £ 4,659.20 annually.
By claiming the care allowance, people could also increase the other benefits they receive. Beneficiaries could benefit from an additional pension credit, a housing allowance or a reduction in municipal tax.
Applicants do not need someone looking after them to be eligible. However, if they have a caregiver, they could benefit from care allowance if they have significant care needs.
The receipt of the care allowance will not affect a claimant’s state pension, and people who work and still earn money can still claim it. The care allowance is means-tested, which means that the amount a claimant earns or how much they have in savings will not affect the amount received.
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People who have reached the legal retirement age and meet the following criteria can apply for care allowance:
They have a physical disability (including a sensory disability, for example blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both.
The disability is severe enough that they need help looking after themselves or have someone supervise them, for their own safety or that of others.
They have needed help for at least six months (unless they are terminally ill).
An applicant must also:
Be in Britain when they claim. However, there are some exceptions, such as members and family members of the armed forces.
Have been in Great Britain for at least two of the past three years (this does not apply to refugees or people with humanitarian protection status).
Be habitually resident in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
Not be subject to immigration control (unless it is a sponsored immigrant).
British nationals who live in the EU, a European Economic Area or Switzerland can still benefit from the care allowance.
Those who live in a nursing home and whose care is paid for by their local authority generally cannot receive care allowance. However, people can still claim care allowance if they pay all of their nursing home costs.
Applicants will only need to attend an assessment to verify eligibility if it is not clear how their illness or disability affects them. People who need an assessment will receive a letter explaining why and where they need to go. During the assessment, a healthcare professional should examine the applicant.
People who already receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP), however, cannot get Care Allowance.