Instated as part of National Insurance reforms in 1970, Attendance Allowance has proved to be one of the most vital welfare schemes run by the Department for Work and Pensions.
Aimed at those who are over 65 and have a physical or mental illness that means they require a high level of personal care, Attendance Allowance has been one of the few benefits schemes left untouched in recent austerity measures.
Although it is largely comparable to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – which is similar in structure, but is provided for those under retirement age – the main difference away from the age limits is that an Attendance Allowance claimant must mainly require assistance in regards to their bodily functions. Those looking to start making a claim may be asked to prove this before they are eligible to receive payments.
Currently, Attendance Allowance payments are split between two rates. Those who only require help throughout the day or night are eligible for a payment of £53 per week – however, those who need around the clock supervision or are terminally ill can claim £79.15 per week. Depending on their own individual circumstances, those providing care may also be eligible to earn Carer’s Allowance.
Claims are generally stopped if the claimant is forced to go into hospital for a period of 4 weeks or more – this is due to the fact that the government view NHS care as another form of taxpayer funded welfare.