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Claiming Attendance Allowance Gave Edna A New Lease Of Life

2 April 2019

Local News

Written bySamuel Holmes

Claiming Attendance Allowance Gave Edna A New Lease Of Life

Did you know you could get up to £85.60 a week to help you stay in your own home?

Age UK tells us that many people are eligible to claim Attendance Allowance but don’t.

Which means countless numbers of people struggle financially when they don’t have to.

Attendance Allowance was introduced in 1970 to help people stay independent and avoid going into a care home. Unfortunately, people often don’t know about it or don’t like the idea of handouts or sharing their financial information. However, as Attendance Allowance isn’t means tested, you don’t have to give details of your income or savings.

How Attendance Allowance changed Edna’s life

Attendance Allowance made a big difference to Edna and her daughter, Lynn.

Edna had arthritis and was waiting for a hip replacement operation. She already had a gardener to keep the garden of her bungalow tidy and, as she was struggling to do some of the housework, Lynn suggested she get a cleaner too.

Lyn explains,

“Mum didn’t like that idea at all. She said she didn’t need any help and would manage. I realise now it was the money stopping her, not just her pride.”

“A few weeks later, Mum told me she was missing her friends at her weekly coffee morning. The uphill walk from the bus stop to the village hall was too much for her hips. When I suggested she get a taxi, she said: ‘I can’t afford to splash out on taxis just to go out for a coffee.’ “

“Well, that worried me. I assumed she was OK for money. She was always generous with her grandchildren and never complained about bills.”

Lynn shared her worries with a friend who told her about Attendance Allowance. Attendance Allowance is available to older people who need help to care for themselves. It can be used to pay for a whole range of things that make it possible to stay in your own home.

“I’d never heard of it, but my friend had claimed it for her uncle who had home care. Attendance Allowance covered most of the cost for him, so I thought it was worth claiming for Mum.”

It’s often the most independent-minded people who don’t claim, but Attendance Allowance can be the perfect answer for those wanting to stay in the home they love.

As Lynn explained,

“I broached the idea of claiming Attendance Allowance tentatively as Mum doesn’t like ‘handouts’ or people knowing her private business. So, you can imagine how happy she was to find out she didn’t have to give all her financial details. Mum didn’t consider herself disabled until she realised she needed help to stay independent.”

“It took a little bit of persuasion, so I arranged for someone from Radfield Home Care to call and talk to her about it. They explained everything carefully, and Mum decided to make a claim.”

How much is Attendance Allowance?

As you get older, it can be frustrating when you can’t do everything you used to. Whether it’s because you have arthritis or a heart condition that disables you or dementia, which means you forget to eat, drink or take your medication.

Having a bit of help can make a big difference.

There are two Attendance Allowance rates:

  1. £Herefordshire & South Shropshire > News.30 per week if you require help or supervision during the day or night, and
  2. £85.60 per week if you need help or supervision throughout both day and night, or you are terminally ill

The extra income can cover the cost of getting a cleaner or paying for a taxi to help you get to appointments or social activities.

You can use it to have meals delivered or a personal alarm installed so you can call for help in an emergency.

And, of course, it can also be used to pay for home care if you need it.

You don’t need to be receiving care to claim the allowance and it doesn’t affect any other benefits.

And the best part of all, it’s tax-free.

How Radfield Home Care can help you claim

As with any official form, it pays to do your homework. Make sure you have all the information you need to hand and prepare to give details of how your illness or disability affects your day-to-day living.

It can be helpful to keep a note of all the times you’ve needed help or found it difficult to manage over a few days, so you can give good examples of how often you need a helping hand.

Radfield Home Care helped Lynn and Edna to complete their form.

“It was quite a long form, so we were glad of the help to get it right. I don’t think we’d have filled in all the details if it wasn’t for the expert advice we received,” said Lynn.

“It was worth the effort, especially as Mum needed some home care after her hip replacement. The extra money gave her back the social life she nearly lost and paid for the help she needed to stay at home. She was so much happier and knowing she had that extra help, I was able to relax too. Basically it gave her a new lease of life.”

Age UK’s Charity Director, Caroline Abrahams sums it up:

Attendance Allowance has been specifically designed to help older people who need extra support because of a health issue and it can go a long way to help them live independently at home.”

If Edna’s story has inspired you to claim for Attendance Allowance, follow our guide below to ensure you receive the financial help you could be entitled to.

How to claim Attendance Allowance.

Attendance Allowance – the facts:

  • Visit https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance for full details
  • Attendance Allowance is a non-contributory benefit paid to disabled or terminally ill people, over state pension age, who are normally resident in the UK.
  • To get Attendance Allowance, you must have had care needs for at least six months and must not be living in a council care home or hospital.
  • If you are terminally ill and expected to die within six months, you can get the highest rate of Attendance Allowance immediately.
  • Attendance Allowance is paid weekly at two different rates – the one you get depends on the level of help you need.
  • Lower rate – £Herefordshire & South Shropshire > News.30 a week, if you require frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night
  • Higher rate – £85.60 a week, if you need help or supervision throughout both day and night, or you’re terminally ill
  • You could get extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction if you get Attendance Allowance.
  • Attendance Allowance is paid into your bank account.
  • You must notify the Attendance Allowance helpline if you go into hospital or a care home or go abroad for more than 13 weeks.
  • Attendance Allowance is not means-tested: your earnings and savings will not affect what you get.
  • Use the Attendance Allowance claim form to apply by post. The form comes with notes telling you how to fill it in.
  • Call the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 or 0800 731 0317 and ask for a copy of the form – alternative formats, such as braille, large print or audio CD are also available on request.
  • Radfield Home Care are happy to help you fill in the form.


Samuel Holmes

Samuel Holmes

Director & Owner

A former social worker, Samuel has a passion for supporting people to lead fulfilling lives.

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