Millions could be missing out on vital DWP benefit worth up to £5,300 a year

While inflation rates remain high at 7.9 percent, Britons are being urged to check if they’re claiming all of the support they’re entitled to help with rising costs.

Attendance Allowance is a benefit distributed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to people over state pension age who need help with personal care or supervision due to illness or a disability. However, it’s thought that some 3.4 million are currently missing out.

Following a 10.1 percent increase in April, Attendance Allowance can provide eligible state pensioners with up to £441 a month at its highest rate, which equates to £5,291 per year.

Who is eligible to claim Attendance Allowance?

People must be of or over the state pension age (currently 66) and have been in Great Britain (England, Scotland, or Wales) for the last two years.

READ MORE: State Pension payment warning for those approaching State Pension age

They must also be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands, and have a type of disability or illness which means support or supervision is required to help with personal care. This can include anything from sight and hearing impairments to mobility or mental health issues.

People may also be eligible if they have difficulties with smaller, personal tasks, experience pain or need physical help. Help must have been needed for the past six months unless the person has less than 12 months to live.

Main medical conditions that can qualify for Attendance Allowance

The 56 medical conditions that could qualify a person for Attendance Allowance include:

  • Arthritis
  • Spondylosis
  • Back Pain – other/precise diagnosis not specified
  • Disease of the muscles, bones or joints
  • Trauma to limbs
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Heart disease
  • Chest disease
  • Asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Neurological diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Motor neurone disease
  • Chronic pain syndromes
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Metabolic disease
  • Traumatic paraplegia/tetraplegia
  • Major trauma other than traumatic paraplegia/tetraplegia
  • Learning difficulties
  • Psychosis
  • Psychoneurosis
  • Personality disorder
  • Dementia
  • Behavioural disorder
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Hyperkinetic syndrome
  • Renal disorders
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Bowel and stomach disease
  • Blood disorders
  • Haemophilia
  • Multi-system disorders
  • Multiple allergy syndrome
  • Skin disease
  • Malignant disease
  • Severely mentally impaired
  • Double amputee
  • Deaf/blind
  • Haemodialysis
  • Frailty
  • Total parenteral autrition
  • AIDS
  • Infectious diseases: Viral disease – coronavirus COVID-19
  • Infectious diseases: Viral disease – precise diagnosis not specified
  • Infectious diseases: Bacterial disease – tuberculosis
  • Infectious diseases: Bacterial disease – precise diagnosis not specified
  • Infectious diseases: Protozoal disease – malaria
  • Infectious diseases: Protozoal disease – other/precise diagnosis not specified
  • Infectious diseases – other/precise diagnosis not specified
  • Cognitive disorder – other/precise diagnosis not specified
  • Terminally ill.

According to the DWP, people don’t need a diagnosis for their condition to apply. To claim, people must have just needed help or supervision, or have had difficulties for six months because of their condition.

However, Britons won’t be able to claim Attendance Allowance if they already receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Adult Disability Payment (ADP), or the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Attendance Allowance rates 2023

Attendance Allowance is paid at a lower rate and a higher rate, and the amount received depends on how much help a person needs.

The lower and higher payment rates are:

  • Lower rate: £68.10 per week (up from £61.85)
  • Higher rate: £101.75 per week (up from £92.40).

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To qualify for the lower rate, people may need help during the day or during the night, whereas people who need help during both – or have a terminal illness – could be eligible for the higher rate.

To claim, people need to fill out an Attendance Allowance form, which can be sourced by either calling the helpline on 0800 731 0122 or downloading it from the Government website, here.

A new trial is currently underway to improve the Attendance Allowance application process. The trial is being offered to 60 people per week who start a new claim for the benefit through certain channels.

In a written response from DWP minister for disabled people Tom Pursglove, said: “The current split is 25 claimants via Age UK, 25 claimants who have called the helpline in Great Britain and 10 claimants who have called the helpline in Northern Ireland.

“Invites are being offered to anyone who meets the current scope of the private beta until a daily limit is reached. The daily limits are five per day at Age UK, five per day for the Great Britain helpline and two per day for the Northern Ireland helpline.”

Those not being included currently in the private beta are:

  • Anyone applying for special rules
  • Anyone applying in an official capacity (power of attorney, corporate acting body, appointees)
  • Anyone needing the form in Welsh language
  • Anyone needing to report a change of circumstances.

Mr Pursglove added: “We plan to scale the number of self-serving claimants through telephony in the future and also extend the sources we recruit from. This includes visiting officers and other third-party organisations.”

Information on the new trial was given alongside details of a new ‘online apply service’ currently being tested on new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants, which is also capped at 60 new claimants per day.

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