State pensioners at risk of losing £92 a week if they do not report changes to DWP

One of the benefit payments awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is Attendance Allowance. It is specifically for those of state pension age to help with the additional costs from having a long-term illness or health condition. However, if claimants of this support do not report changes to their individual circumstances to the DWP, they risk losing their claim all together.

Attendance Allowance is paid at two different rates: one higher and the other lower, which are awarded depending on the level of care someone needs.

The maximum someone can receive through the DWP benefit is £92.40 a week which comes to around £370 a month.

If a state pensioner’s health condition or illness changes dramatically, Attendance Allowance recipients have to inform the DWP as this could affect how much they get.

Failure to do so can see a claimant lose over £92 a week from their regular income which could be specifically detrimental during the cost of living crisis.

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What changes need to be reported to the DWP?

On the gov.uk website, the Government department outlines the various life changes which the DWP needs to be informed about.

These include:

  • If someone’s condition changes
  • If someone moves into a hospital or care home
  • If someone leaves the country for more than 4 weeks
  • If someone goes into prison
  • If someone changes their name, address or bank details
  • If someone wants to stop receiving your benefit
  • If someone’s doctor’s details change
  • If someone’s immigration status changes, if they are not a British citizen

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How to report changes to the DWP

Anyone who needs to update the department with any of the above life changes can do so via the Attendance Allowance helpline.

This can be done by calling 0800 731 0122 which is the same number one can call when applying for the benefit payment.

It should also be noted that claimants should call this number if they have been paid too much.

Someone may need to repay the money if they do not report the change immediately or if they have provided the wrong information.

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On its website, Carers UK outlines who is eligible for the DWP benefit while noting the restrictions placed on applicants.

The charity stated: “Getting Attendance Allowance does not reduce other benefits, it may even increase them.

“If you have a carer then claiming Attendance Allowance may help them to qualify for certain benefits. Attendance Allowance may also entitle you and/ or your carer to further help with council tax.

“There are no restrictions on how you can spend your Attendance Allowance, and you do not have to spend it on paying for the care that you need.

“However, your council or trust can take Attendance Allowance into account when calculating how much you might need to pay for any care services you receive.”

Turn2Us also shares how people can challenge a decision made by the DWP to not award Attendance Allowance.

The organisation explained: “If you disagree with the decision made on your claim, you can ask for it to be looked at again, and/or appeal.

“The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and act quickly.”