Attendance Allowance: Pensioners living with hearing loss may get up to £400 extra a month | Personal Finance | Finance
As living costs remain on the incline, Britons are being urged to check if they’re claiming all of the financial support they are eligible for to help with bills. However, some may not be aware that they could be granted a vital boost through Attendance Allowance, which is a Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit worth up to £400.40 a month at its highest rate.
Attendance Allowance is distributed to people who have reached the state pension age, which is currently 66, and need help with personal care or supervision due to illness or a disability.
However, it’s believed that up to 3.4 million eligible pensioners could be missing out on this support by failing to claim it.
People living with certain health conditions may qualify for the support, such as hearing loss, which is a particularly common problem amongst older Britons, according to the NHS.
The health body describes the symptoms of the condition to include difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say, especially in noisy places; asking people to repeat themselves; listening to music or watching TV with the volume higher than other people need.
READ MORE: ‘Impact of inflation’ can’t be ignored by state pensioners
Signs can also include difficulty hearing on the phone; finding it hard to keep up with a conversation; and feeling tired or stressed from having to concentrate while listening.
A statement from The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) reads: “If you are deaf or have hearing loss, you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance if you need help to communicate with other people. It doesn’t matter if you do not currently get this help, as long as you can show you need it.”
Attendance Allowance is offered at two rates, the lower rate and the higher rate, and depends on how much help the person might need.
The lower rate is awarded to people who need help during the day or at night and amounts to £61.85 per week.
Benefit payments for pensioners to increase in 2023 [INSIGHT]
Brits have £250 a month less disposable income due to cost of living [ANALYSIS]
You could save nearly £7,000 in 2023 with £5 savings challenge [EXPLAINED]
The higher rate is awarded to those who need help during both the day and at night or have a terminal illness. This amounts to £92.40 per week and a maximum amount of £4,804.80 per year.
However, as per Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s announcement during his Autumn Statement in November, these rates will increase by 10.1 percent from April 2023. This will bring the lower rate up to £68.10 per week, while the higher rate will be paid at £101.75 per week.
Attendance Allowance isn’t a means-tested benefit, meaning current savings or income won’t affect the claim, nor will it impact other benefits received.
Eligibility for Attendance Allowance could even help with other benefit claims, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, or council tax reduction.
READ MORE: Mum hoping to retire at 40 now fears she’ll be working decades longer
The claimant must have needed help for the past six months unless they have less than six months to live. In that case, the benefit will be awarded as soon as the person first needed help with care.
Claimants don’t need to have a diagnosis for their condition to apply. As long as they’ve needed help or supervision, or have had difficulties for six months because of their condition, they can claim it.
However, it should be noted, Britons won’t be able to get Attendance Allowance if they already get Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Adult Disability Payment (ADP), or the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
To get the benefit, claimants need to fill out a form, clearly outlining the help they do need, as well as the help they don’t. Claimants can either call the helpline on 0800 731 0122 or download the form from the Government website.