Rheumatoid Arthritis: NHS on common signs and symptoms
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State pension payments can be a financial cushion in retirement, but some are still worried about spiralling costs. This is particularly the case for those living with a health condition which can complicate matters further. The cost of medicine, potential adaptations and personal care can all add up quickly.
Thankfully, though, individuals of state pension age who are living with a health condition or disability could be entitled to support.
This is made available through Attendance Allowance, designed specifically to help older Britons with extra costs if they have a condition severe enough that they require someone to help look after them.
However, the important thing to bear in mind is that a person does not have to have someone caring for them in order to claim.
The payment could help those living with arthritis, which the NHS states affects more than 10million people of all ages right across the UK.
The condition can cause pain and inflammation in one joint, or more, and thus can present challenges to live with.
Conditions such as osteoarthritis most often develop in people in their mid-40s, and may get worse over time.
As a result, individuals may need financial help with the costs of managing their condition.
Attendance Allowance is paid weekly at two separate rates, and the one a person gets depends on the level of help they need.
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The lower rate is £60 per week, for those who need frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night.
The higher rate, £89.60, is for people who need help or supervision throughout both day and night.
As a result, those who are on the higher rate of Attendance Allowance could get up to £358.40 per month.
Attendance Allowance payments are issued directly into a person’s bank, building society or credit union account.
To be eligible for the payment a person must be either physically or mentally disabled. They must also be of state pension age or older.
Individuals are required to be in Great Britain when they claim, as well as having been there for at least two of the last three years.
In addition, they should be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
An assessment is usually not required for a person to claim Attendance Allowance.
But people should be prepared to attend one, as it may be unclear how their illness or disability affects them.
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To make a claim for the payment, Britons will need to use the claim form to apply by post.
This is made available through the Government’s website, and comes with notes guiding a person on how to fill it in.
The form can then be sent Freepost to DWP Attendance Allowance, where a postcode or stamp is not required.
Attendance Allowance can usually be backdated to the date a person first makes their claim.
This is usually the date the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) receives the form.
Alternatively, it can be the date a person calls the enquiry line – if the claim pack is then returned within six weeks.
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