Pensioners could lose extra £92 a week if they fail to report changes to DWP

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State Pension: Expert outlines criteria to qualify

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Many people who are of state pension age, which is currently 66, are entitled to and claim Attendance Allowance. This particular benefit payment is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Attendance Allowance is for pensioners who have a long-term health condition or illness which need financial assistance to pay for the extra costs that arise.

In April of this year, the DWP increased the rate of benefit payments in line with inflation from last year.

This meant that payments, such as the state pension and Attendance Allowance, rose by 3.1 percent.

As a result, the most someone can get from Attendance Allowance weekly is around £92 which can provide vital assistance for someone with a disability or condition.

However, this money can be lost if that person does not report changes in their life or circumstances to the DWP.

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Examples of a life change which should be reported is if someone’s condition gets better or deteriorates.

Furthermore, claimants need to report if they have to or plan to go into a hospital or a care home.

Another circumstance change can include being away for an extended period of time, such as leaving the country for more than four weeks or going to prison.

If a claimant’s personal details (name, address or bank details) or that of their doctor’s change, the DWP expects them to get in touch.

Those who are not British citizens who are claiming Attendance Allowance must update the DWP if their immigration status changes.

If someone does not adequately and accurately report their circumstances to DWP, they could be taken to court.

People who need to update the DWP about any life changes can call the Attendance Allowance helpline at 0800 731 0122.

This helpline for benefit claimants is open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 3:30pm.

On its website, Citizens Advice highlights the importance of people informing the DWP if their circumstances change drastically during the tenure of their claim.

The financial advice stated: “Once you know about a change that might affect the amount of Attendance Allowance you get, tell the DWP as soon as you can.

“The change might increase your payment and you might miss out on extra money if you tell the DWP late.

“You should still tell the DWP if you think a change might reduce your Attendance Allowance – you won’t save money by reporting it later.

“If you tell the DWP late you could get paid too much and have to pay your benefits back to the DWP. This is called an overpayment – check how the DWP deals with overpayments.”

Chloe Smith, the UK Government’s Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, promoted the benefits of claiming Attendance Allowance.

Ms Smith said: “Living with a long-term illness or disability can have a profound effect on daily life, both for those with a diagnosis and those who care for them.

“So it’s vitally important you are receiving all the help you are entitled to. Millions of people already receive this support and I would urge anyone who thinks they may be eligible for extra financial help to check online.”

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