Martin Lewis gives details on claiming attendance allowance
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The State Pension provides regular payments to eligible Britons who have reached a certain age. The state pension usually hinges on a person’s National Insurance contributions, with a requirement of a set number of years put forward throughout a person’s lifetime. It is important to note, however, the Government website states a person may get less than the new full state pension if they were contracted out.
Although the state pension can offer vital support once a person chooses to leave the workforce, some with certain health conditions may be unaware of the other support they can receive.
Those of state pension age could be able to receive Attendance Allowance, a payment designed to help those living with a condition.
One of the most common conditions older people have to navigate is arthritis – which can cause pain or swelling in the joints.
Arthritis can be somewhat limiting for people who live with the condition, and it may be the case they need additional support in their day-to-day lives.
The organisation Versus Arthritis has said Attendance Allowance could help Britons to live “as normal a life as possible” through its financial support.
Attendance Allowance payments will be dependent on how severely arthritis or any other condition a person may have impacts them.
However, while the outline for Attendance Allowance states it helps those with a condition severe enough that they need someone to help look after them, a person does not need to have this kind of support to claim.
Attendance Allowance is a tax-free, non-means tested payment and can provide support to a wide range of people.
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People can claim the sum whether they are working or not, and do not need National Insurance contributions to claim.
However, there are certain qualifications when it comes to Attendance Allowance which are worth bearing in mind.
Britons will be able to get Attendance Allowance if they have a physical or mental disability or both.
In addition, that support will have been needed for at least six months for someone to be eligible.
A person must be in Great Britain when they make the claim in most circumstances, and have been resident there for at least two of the last three years.
Finally, a person must be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
Attendance Allowance, though, is based on the support a person needs rather than the help they actually get.
It is paid at two weekly rates which take this level of support into account when a person applies.
The lower rate of Attendance Allowance is currently set at £59.70, and is available to those who need frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night.
Alternatively, there is a higher rate of Attendance Allowance currently set at £89.15 per week.
This is reserved for individuals who need help or supervision throughout both day and night, or those who are terminally ill.
As a result then, someone on the higher rate of Attendance Allowance could get in the region of £356 monthly to support them with their condition.
Those claiming the sum may also be able to get extra Pension Credit or Housing Benefit, or a reduction in their Council Tax.
However, they should check with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) helpline to confirm this, where a person can also apply for the payment.
All payments of Attendance Allowance are made into an individual’s bank, building society or credit union account.
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