By Pat Hutchinson MBE, District Manager, Newtownabbey CAB
Q: My elderly mother is very frail and suffers from osteoarthritis. She needs help to get washed and dressed. She is very forgetful and has left the cooker on several times. Can she claim Attendance Allowance?
A: Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit you may get if you’re aged 65 or over and need help with personal care because you’re physically or mentally disabled.
You may get Attendance Allowance if: you have a physical disability (including sensory disability, such as blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both; your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or someone to supervise you, for your own or someone else’s safety; you are aged 65 or over when you claim.
On the information provided it looks like your mum could be entitled to make a claim for Attendance Allowance.
Attendance Allowance is not affected by any savings or income you may have. If you are under age 65, you may be able to get Disability Living Allowance.
Special rules - if you are terminally ill: There are special rules for people who are terminally ill. This means people who have a progressive illness and are not expected to live more than another six months. The special rules mean people get the higher rate of Attendance Allowance straight away.
Medical examinations: You will not usually need a medical examination when you claim for Attendance Allowance.
The rates paid are as follows: For day and night needs £81.30 per week, and for either day or night needs £54.45, the low rate, will be paid.
You can make a claim by requesting a form on the benefit enquiry line - 0800 220 674, or call at Newtownabbey Citizens Advice Bureau to discuss it further. We can carry out a benefit check for your mum and help complete the form.
• Get free, confidential and independent advice from your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau or log on to www.adviceguide.org.uk
Call Newtownabbey Citizens Advice Bureau, Dunanney Centre, Rathcoole, 028 9085 2271 or email firstname.lastname@example.org