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Claiming Attendance Allowance and other benefits could help lift thousands of older people in Wales out of poverty, says Age Cymru

Published on 06 June 2024 03:52 PM

Read how claiming Attendance Allowance has transformed Carol’s life in a rural Welsh community 

Order our free guide More money in your pocket 

Claiming benefits such as Attendance Allowance and Pension Credit could help lift thousands of older people in Wales out of poverty, says Age Cymru. 

The charity is urging older people and their carers to explore what benefits and entitlements they may claim as millions of pounds go unclaimed in Wales each year.  

Last year it helped older people claim more than a quarter of a million pounds worth of Attendance Allowance and £150k in Pension Credit. Added to a range of other benefits and entitlements, the charity enabled older people to claim nearly £800k in total, worth on average £6,378 for each claimant. 

Age Cymru’s 2024 survey What matters to you found that nearly half (48%) of the 1300 plus respondents said the cost-of-living crisis prevented them from accessing the activities they would like to do such as visiting friends and relatives or attending a club at a local day centre. 

Age Cymru’s Information and Advice Manager Nel Price says “It’s deeply frustrating that so many older people in Wales are struggling to pay their bills and are forced to cut back on their social activities when so much money is left unclaimed each year.  

“Not being able to afford simple pleasures such as meeting their family and friends can increase people’s sense of loneliness and isolation. 

“Attendance Allowance is one of the biggest sources of support that goes unclaimed as many people mistakenly believe that you need to have a carer attending your home to claim it, which is simply not the case. 

“Attendance Allowance is a benefit for those aged 66 or over who may need extra help to stay living independently at home.”  

For more information call 0300 303 44 98 Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm, email or visit


Carol’s story  

Carol had started to really worry about her future when she contacted Age Cymru Advice in October 2023. Her mobility wasn’t what it used to be. She was living in a rural property, which was unfit for her needs and was situated around two miles from the nearest bus route. Her car was her lifeline, but she wasn’t sure she could afford to keep it running for much longer.  

She decided she had to start to look for a new safer home to rent, a little closer to amenities and public transport. Not long after she started looking, she realised that the rent was far too high for her. With the cost of living increasing, she wasn’t sure what the future would hold.  

 “I was desperate, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I knew my income wouldn’t stretch to cover the rent anywhere else, but I couldn’t continue living where I was. I was worried I would have a nasty fall.” 

 Carol contacted Age Cymru Advice on the off chance that we may know of something she could do.  

A specialist adviser explored Carol’s benefit entitlements and suggested that she apply for Attendance Allowance. We helped her to understand the eligibility criteria and explained that she could get help with the application forms. We also suggested that she should contact the local authority housing department to sign up for suitable council or housing association properties.  

“My sister gets Attendance Allowance but she’s older than me - she’s 92, and she has carers supporting her. I had no idea that I could be entitled to it as I live alone, and I have nobody attending to me!” 

Our team followed up with Carol, and she confirmed she’s now receiving the lower Attendance Allowance rate. This had a positive impact on her Pension Credit entitlement, increasing her income by £122 a week.  

Carol’s been in touch with Conwy and Denbighshire housing departments and is now on the list awaiting a council property. In the meantime, she knows she can afford to keep her car running and if a suitable property comes up, she’ll be able to afford the rent. Now that she has a bit more income, she can also get out and about to see her friends.  

“It’s such a huge relief. I can look to the future now. I haven’t quite got used to having a little bit extra yet, but I went out to the coffee shop for the first time in a very long time the other day, it was fantastic! I’d recommend anyone who’s in the same situation as I was to call Age Cymru. It’s been life changing for me.” 

Notes to Editors 

More Money in Your pocket 

More Money in Your pocket is Age Cymru’s bi-lingual guide that provides a wide range of information on the three important areas of pensions, your home, and your wellbeing. 

The pensions element focuses on the State Pension, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit and the Pension Credit Savings Credit. 

The section on your home advises on claiming from your local authority’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme, Housing Benefit, Winter Fuel Payments, Cold Weather Payments, and the Warm Home Discount. 

The wellbeing section looks at meeting urgent or one-off expenses, help with health costs, and help towards the cost of dental treatment, glasses or contact lenses and certain travel costs to receive NHS treatment.  

It also provides details on Attendance Allowance that can provide up to £72.65 per week if you need help in the day or at night, or £108.55 if you need help in the day and at night.   It also looks at Carer’s Allowance that can provide up to £81.90 per week. 

To order your free copy call 0300 303 44 98 Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm, email or visit


Last updated: Jun 06 2024

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