The DWP’s most underclaimed benefit is worth up to £4,800

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Martin Lewis gives details on claiming attendance allowance

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Attendance Allowance has been described as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) most “underclaimed benefit” as many who are eligible are not claiming. It’s thought that around 3.4 million eligible pensioners are missing out on this support. Paid every four weeks, claimants could see an increase of up to £370 every month which equates to around £4,800 a year.

In order to claim, pensioners would need to “have a physical disability, a mental disability, including learning difficulties, or both”.

The benefit is paid at two different rates and the amount someone gets depends on the level of care they need.

Pensioners could receive £61.85 if they need help during the day or at night and if someone needs help during the day and night they could receive £92.40.

People who are terminally ill are automatically entitled to receive Attendance Allowance at the higher rate.

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According to the DWP, the aim of Attendance Allowance is to help people remain as independent in their own homes for as long as possible.

The DWP reiterate that people do not need a carer in order to claim and an official diagnosis is also not needed.

However, the claimant will have needed help or supervision, or have had difficulties for six months because of their condition.

There are a number of conditions that can entitle someone to claim the DWP’s Attendance Allowance.

Conditions that could allow people to claim to include things such as sight or hearing impairments, learning difficulties, mobility issues such as arthritis, or mental health issues such as dementia or psychosis.

People could also apply if they have difficulties with smaller, personal tasks, experience pain or need physical help.

Attendance Allowance isn’t a means-tested benefit, which means that it can be paid regardless of someone’s income, savings or National Insurance contribution record. It is also a tax-free benefit.

Claiming Attendance Allowance will not reduce other benefits someone receives, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.

READ MORE: Attendance Allowance: 6 myths that stop millions of pensioners claiming up to £370 a month

In some cases, someone may actually find that they are entitled to higher rates of support for these other benefits due to their extra needs.

Individuals should check with the helpline or office dealing with their benefits to check if they qualify for the extra support.

If a person’s health condition or illness changes dramatically, then the claimant has a responsibility to inform the DWP as this could affect how much they get.

When applying for Attendance Allowance, people will need to explain to the DWP the effects their disability and health condition has on them and many age and disability charities offer guidance for people on how they can do this.

To claim, Britons need to fill out the Attendance Allowance claim form online and send it through the post.

To pick up an Attendance Allowance form, claimants can either call the helpline on 0800 731 0122 or download the form from the Government website.

Attendance Allowance can then also be backdated to the date of someone’s claim.

This is usually the date their form is received or the date they call the enquiry line if they then return the claim pack within six weeks.

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