The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit may be claimed in order to help older Britons meet the higher cost of their condition to keep them as independent and in their homes for as long as they can. Attendance Allowance is paid at two rates depending on how the condition or disability affects them. Currently, pensioners could receive £61.85 if they need help during the day or at night and if someone needs help during the day and night they could receive £92.40.
If eligible they could receive between £247.40 and £369.60 each payment period which equates to between an extra £3,000 to £4,000 plus each year.
However, Attendance Allowance is one of the benefits that will be increased next April.
The 10.1 percent increase means people on the lower rate will see their payments increase to £68.10 while the upper rate will go up to £101.73.
This increase will give pensioners between £247.40 and £406.92 every four weeks.
READ MORE: Winter Fuel Payment: Pensioners urged to ‘make sure’ they receive £600 payment in account
Attendance Allowance is not a means-tested benefit so a person’s savings or income is not taken into consideration when they make a claim.
This is usually one of the misconceptions of the benefit and many will not apply as they feel their savings or income could have their claim rejected.
Claiming the support also won’t affect any other benefits a person gets, which means those claiming a state pension will not have those payments reduced or cut due to claiming Attendance Allowance.
People are not awarded Attendance Allowance due to their disability or health condition, it is awarded based on how the disability or health condition affects a person’s daily life.
However, there are a number of conditions that could entitle someone to claim the Attendance Allowance if they are needing support with their condition.
Conditions such as sight or hearing impairments, learning difficulties, mobility issues such as arthritis, or mental health issues such as dementia or psychosis can make someone eligible to claim.
People could also apply if they have difficulties with smaller, personal tasks, experience pain or need physical help.
According to the Government guidelines, claimants must have had a disability or health condition that they have been struggling with and have needed support with for at least six months.
READ MORE: New and basic state pension rates – how much you’ll get next year with increase
According to official figures, there are around 1.8 million people who are currently claiming the benefit but it is suspected that 3.4 million people could be eligible but are not claiming.
If someone has a successful claim, they can then backdate it to the date of a person’s claim, which is usually the date the form is received or the date a person calls the enquiry line.
In order to claim, a person must be in the UK 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 the UK 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.
If people need further support with their application, such as needing an alternative format of the claim form in braille, large print or audio CD, then they can call the Attendance Allowance helpline to request this.