With rising utility costs, the prospect of additional tax-free income could be very welcome in these challenging financial times.
At Bluebell, we want to ‘dispel the myths’ to ensure you receive everything to which you are entitled.
What is Attendance Allowance?
Attendance Allowance is a non-means tested, tax-free State benefit.
Who can claim Attendance Allowance?
It is available to anyone over State pension age who fulfils a set criteria and requires some form of assistance undertaking various activities of daily living.
Am I eligible if I own my house and have savings and investments?
Let’s dispel this myth first. Yes - Attendance Allowance is available regardless of your personal wealth. Income and assets are disregarded when assessing eligibility for an Attendance Allowance claim.
Can I make a claim if I don’t have any daily help in the home?
Yes you can. You do not need to be in receipt of any direct care or paid help in the home. In reality you may be living alone or as part of a couple. There could be a ‘support network’ of family, friends or neighbours who ‘keep an eye out’ and you may have put your own ‘risk management’ in place without realising.
Your ‘support network’ could be one person or a number of different individuals who ‘lend a hand’ when needed, picking up shopping or transporting you to medical appointments. We are all creatures of habit, so it is likely that you will have a routine of regular activity, visits or calls.
You may have already unknowingly introduced some ‘risk management’ into your home;
Perhaps you now sleep with the landing light on?
Is the telephone close to the bed, just in case?
Maybe you have treated yourself to an elevating chair that eases the achy back and knees?
Do you now enjoy pre-prepared meals more frequently, benefiting from hassle-free preparation and reduced washing up?
You may relate to some or all of the above. Subtle but effective introductions and changes can make a real difference to maintaining your independence in the home and they all count when submitting an Attendance Allowance claim.
Can I claim Attendance Allowance if I am self-funding care?
We can dispel this myth too. Yes you can. Following a successful claim, Attendance Allowance will continue to be paid for those self-funding care either at home or in a care setting.
How much could I claim?
An Attendance Allowance claim can secure either £68.10 (lower rate) or £101.75 (higher rate) per week, tax-free (as at 6 April 2023). Over the course of a year that will equate to between £3,541 - £5,291 and is paid in addition to any other income. A couple, both receiving the higher rate could therefore generate over £10,500 of additional tax-free income each year – so it is definitely worth taking the time to consider your eligibility.
Am I restricted on what I can use Attendance Allowance for?
There is no stipulation on how this benefit is spent and a successful claim is backdated to the date of the application, so the sooner you apply, the better. The additional money generated can be used to pay for anything - a taxi, gardener, cleaner, new elevating chair - whatever enables you to enjoy an independent life.
How can you tell if I am eligible to make a claim, and how do I go about it?
Once we have had an initial chat we can determine very quickly from discussions and observations whether you are eligible to make a claim.
You can complete the application yourself either online or you can print out the Attendance Allowance claim form and send it via the post. It is important to include all the medical information you can. A friend, family member, charity or the Local Authority may all be able to assist you.
Can Bluebell help me to complete an Attendance Allowance application?
Yes. Bluebell recognise that completing important paperwork is an art form and we have extensive experience completing the application and asking the right questions to capture the detail necessary to support a successful claim.
We get to know you and compile a timeline of your medical history which assists with the completion of the application. We then organise a home visit where possible and suggest you allow 1.5 hours for this appointment. Family or friends are welcome to join us too - we actively encourage input from your support network when completing the form as it can be extremely helpful to capture their personal observations. Bluebell charge a fixed fee for this service and oversee your claim from start to finish.