Pensioners could get more than £3,000 a year through new simpler online application form

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Attendance Allowance is a benefit which helps people who have a disability severe enough that they need someone to help look after them. The DWP has recently updated its online guidance and created an interactive, downloadable application form to help ease the process of understanding and applying for Attendance Allowance.

Attendance Allowance is paid at two different rates, depending on the level of care needed. Successful applicants who have reached state pension age could get either £60 or £89.60 per week.

Those who require frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night could be eligible for the lower rate of £60 a week. This would provide an additional £240 per month, or £3,120 a year.

People needing help or supervision throughout both the day and night, and people who are terminally ill may get the higher rate of £89.60. These people would therefore receive £358.40 each month or £4,659.20 per year.

Attendance Allowance claimants might also be able to increase other benefits they receive, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction.

The interactive claim form can be downloaded, filled in and printed off, before being sent to the DWP via freepost. The form can be saved at any time, which helps make the task of completing the 29-page application a little less daunting.

Some people may find they do not need to answer every question, because as they complete the form, they will be guided based on each answer they give.

A PDF reader is required to open and complete the form, but these can be easily downloaded for free via the internet, or on people’s phones via their relevant app store.

By using a PDF reader, applicants can save the answers they have typed into the form so that they can leave their application where it is and come back to it another time if they are not able to finish it in one session.

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The application will only save if it is both saved onto a user’s computer and opened in a recent version of PDF reader. It will not save in versions of Acrobat Reader older than version XI, as well as some other PDF readers, such as Foxit on a PC.

The DWP has also advised people not to use their internet browser to complete the form, such as Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, or the Preview application for Apple Mac users.

Once completed, the form can be sent to Freepost DWP Attendance Allowance. Since it is a freepost service, no stamps are required and no postcode is needed either.

In addition to the interactive application form, the DWP has updated an online guide which provides 12 pages of information to help people complete each part of the Attendance Allowance application.

This guide includes the following sections:

What people need before filling in the form

Explanations of different terminology people may come across in completing their application

How Attendance Allowance is calculated

How people’s disabilities impact them

Assistance with certain questions within the form

Special rules

Help and advice regarding other benefits

What happens next

Attendance Allowance claimants might also be able to increase other benefits they receive, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction.

It is important to note that applicants do not have to have someone actually caring for them in order to claim. However, people who do have a carer may get Carer’s Allowance if they have substantial needs.

People’s state pension is not impacted if they claim Attendance Allowance, and those who are still working can still apply.

Attendance Allowance is not a means-tested benefit, which means the amount they can receive is not dependent on how much they earn or the amount of savings they have.

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