Assistance With Funding
Attendance Allowance (AA) is a benefit for severely disabled people aged 65 or over who need help with personal care. People aged under 65 should claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead of Attendance Allowance.
AA can be awarded as an ongoing benefit or for a fixed period. The length of an award depends on how long a decision maker from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) thinks the claimant’s needs will last.
AA is not means-tested and it’s tax-free. You don’t need to have paid any National Insurance contributions to claim AA.
To claim AA you must:
- Be aged 65 or over
- meet disability rules for AA for a qualifying period
- meet the residence, presence and immigration rules for AA
AA is paid at two different rates: the lower rate (£54.45) and the higher rate (£81.30). The amount of personal care the person needs determines whether they are eligible for AA and the rate they’re paid.
Pension Credit is a tax-free payment for people who have reached the qualifying age and live in Great Britain. You may get Pension Credit whether you have paid National Insurance or not. There are two parts to Pension Credit: Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. You may get one part or both.
•Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum amount if you have reached the Pension Credit qualifying age.
•Savings Credit is for people who have saved some money towards their retirement such as savings or a second pension. You may get it if you’re 65 or over.
This provides a guaranteed minimum level of income (Guarantee Credit) by topping up weekly income if it is below the threshold (£148.35 if you are single, £226.50 if you have a partner). These amounts may increase further depending on your individual circumstances.
If your savings are less than £16,000 you can potentially reduce council tax payments (subject to an assessment). With a formal diagnosis of dementia, payments will also significantly reduce. If a council tax single occupancy reduction is being claimed, you will not lose this entitlement if you have a live-in carer. This can be applied through your local authority. If in doubt please call the office and we be able to provide you with the correct phone number.
Local Authority Support
The assessment usually comprises of three stages:
- Assessment of a persons circumstances and needs
- Defining what needs must be dealt with by the local authority as they fall within its eligibility criteria
- If appropriate, a financial assessment
It should be noted that local authorities have the power to make sure that assets have not been transferred or given away to avoid paying for care.
Local Authority Support Thresholds
This is only accessible if your capital assets do not exceed £23,250.
For those whose capital is between the upper and lower limits, £1 per week has to be paid to the local authority for every £250 of assets above the lower limits.
If their available capital is below the upper limits but above the lower limits, they will be entitled to some support.
You will need to contact your GP, district nurse or local authority for a health and social care assessment.