Victor is 82 and lives with his wife. He is his wife’s carer, but he also has his own illness and disabilities. He has asthma, heart disease and poor mobility. Victor and his wife have no family and they are dependent on each other.
We had previously helped Victor to apply for Attendance Allowance and he was awarded the lower rate. He was also receiving Carers Allowance, Pension Credit and his wife was receiving Disability Living Allowance and they were also receiving council tax reduction. Victor’s wife had been invited to apply for PIP (Personal Independence Payment) but this wasn’t awarded as she didn’t go to the assessment. Because of this Victor’s Carers Allowance was stopped and his Pension Credit was reduced. Victor was now also paying council tax. Although we had tried to encourage Victor’s wife to speak to the DWP (Department for Work & Pensions) she didn’t want to do that. Victor called our Information and Advice team to ask us to support him with correspondence that he did not understand and to see if we could help with further disability benefits that his wife might be entitled to.
Our I & A staff visited Victor and his wife at home. We went through the paperwork to try and ascertain why Victor’s wife had not been awarded the Attendance Allowance and advised them on their right to appeal. They both felt that they could not put themselves through this process, Victor’s wife does not like to leave the house and Victor will not drive out of the area that they live in. We advised them that rather than appeal if that was going to be too stressful that we would support them with another Attendance Allowance application.
With our assistance Victor’s wife was awarded Attendance Allowance at the lower rate and so now Victor can reapply for his Carers Allowance and be recognized as a carer –which will have an impact on other benefits that he can be awarded and means that his pension credit will rise and he can apply for a council tax reduction.
Victor told us, ‘Knowing I can telephone Age UK Hertfordshire for support and advice and knowing that my call will be answered with kindness by people who can help makes it so much easier.’