Frequently asked questions

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My next door neighbour told me that I can’t claim Attendance Allowance as there’s nobody looking after me and I live on my own. Is this true? I do have a lot of health problems and it does seem unfair!

No it’s not true. Attendance Allowance is for anyone aged 65 and over who needs help with personal care e.g. who requires daily supervision or someone to watch over them at night due to physical or mental disability. You are entitled to receive

Attendance Allowance whether you live alone or with someone else. There doesn’t actually have to be anybody providing care – what does matter is that you need the help, not that you are getting it. You must live in the United Kingdom and have had the disability conditions for at least six months.

There are two weekly rates for Attendance Allowance. The lower rate is for those who need help either day or night. The higher rate is for those who need help day and night. At present, the lower rate is £49.30 per week and the higher rate is £73.60 so it can make quite a considerable difference to someone’s weekly income. This might even increase your chances of receiving other meantested benefits like Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Rates as more generous amounts are given to people who receive Attendance Allowance. This is not means tested so income or savings won’t be affected and it’s not taxable either.

Someone said that I can’t claim Pension Credit because I have savings. I don’t have very much savings but now I’m worried since I’ve already started the claims process.

There’s no savings limit. However, if you have over £10,000 this will limit the amount of Pension Credit you receive. It’s always worth getting a benefit check done every year as your circumstances can change over time. Think of this as a financial health check.

My fridge and cooker have both given up the ghost. I’m at my wits end finding extra money to replace them. As a pensioner with no savings I’m in a tight spot. My Pension Credit will not stretch any further.

You can apply for a Community Care Grant as it’s meant to assist you to live independently. You are already receiving Pension Credit and have under £10,000 in savings. These grants are not repayable.

Is there any help with rates? I do have a works pension and savings but I live alone and I’m worried about the next payment demand. I know I don’t qualify for anything means tested.

If you’re aged 70 or over and living alone, you can apply for Lone Pensioner Allowance. It’s not means tested and you will be entitled to a 20% discount.

Someone said they’d axed the Winter Fuel Payment in the last budget! I don’t know how I’ll manage if this is true.

The good news is that the Winter Fuel Payment has not been axed. Most people over Pension Credit age qualify for the payment. In 2012-13, you will be eligible for a payment if you are born before 5 July 1951. You will normally receive £200 if you are under 80, and £300 if you are 80 or over. You will usually get less if you live with other people who also qualify. You only need to claim once. After this you should get it automatically each year as long as your circumstances do not change.

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Age NI Advice:
0808 808 7575
Age NI Advice Line:
0808 808 7575

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