Benefits warning as millions of pensioners face missing out on monthly £400 boost | Personal Finance | Finance
From April 2023, Attendance Allowance is going up in line with September’s inflation rate of 10.1 percent meaning state pensions on the higher rate will get over £400 a month. As the cost of living crisis continues, pensioners are urged to claim all the benefits they are entitled to as it could be vital in upcoming months.
Attendance Allowance is a benefit administered by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) It is available to state pensioners with a disability or health condition – around 1.8 million people currently claim the benefit.
The DWP estimates a further 3.4 million Britons are set to miss out on this cash boost each month as they have not claimed this benefit.
A person can claim the support if they need help with a physical or mental disability as long as they can prove it has affected their lives for at least six months.
How much can you get?
The lower rate for the benefit is currently £61.85 a week while people on the higher rate get £92.40.
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The 10.1 percent payment boost from April 2023 means people on the lower rate will see their payments increase to £68.10 while the upper rate will increase to £101.73.
Pensioners will therefore get between £247.40 and £406.92 every four weeks.
How to claim?
To make a claim, individuals have to fill out the Attendance Allowance claim form.
There are a couple of ways to get the form. People can call the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 (textphone 0800 731 0317) or download a claim form from the GOV.UK website.
When filling out the form, it is suggested that people should be really clear about how their illness or disability affects their life and attach any supporting information.
This could include information such as GP letters, care plans, or prescription lists.
Once the form has been submitted, the Department of Work and Pensions may contact people for more information or arrange a doctor visit.
Who can claim?
According to the Government, individuals can get Attendance Allowance if they’ve reached state pension age and the following apply:
- you have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example, blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both
- your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or someone to supervise you, for your own or someone else’s safety
- you have needed that help for at least 6 months (unless you might have six months or less to live)
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A person can claim Attendance Allowance if they have needed another person to help them for at least six months. The rules are different if they have six months or less to live.
They must live in Great Britain when they make their claim although there are exceptions for members and family members of the armed forces.
A person must also have lived in Great Britain for at least two of the last three years, although this does not apply to refugees or those who have humanitarian protection status.
Individuals can apply for Attendance Allowance by filling in the claim form, available on the Government website, and then sending it off in the post.
Richard Lane, director of External Affairs at StepChange Debt Charity commented on the uprating of benefits.
He said: “After weeks of uncertainty, confirmation from the Chancellor today that benefits will be uprated in line with inflation, and cost of living support will continue beyond April will be welcomed by millions of households facing a difficult winter.
“With the news that inflation has now reached 11 percent, this support will soften the impact, particularly as the current cap on typical household energy bills is due to be lifted from the spring.
“The rise in the living wage will also go some way to offset soaring inflation which tends to affect those on the lowest incomes most acutely.”