What receiving Attendance Allowance meant to one family

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You might not know it, but a close friend or family member could be missing out on a government benefit that could be worth up to £87.65 a week. Wendy Crawford and her family benefitted from applying for Attendance Allowance after she realised her parents might be eligible to apply. 

 

Can you tell us what you thought of when you first heard about Attendance Allowance?

At the time my mum had been in hospital for nearly 2 months and we were waiting for a care package to be put in place before she could be released and finally return home.  We were having lots of debates about the amount of care my mum might need and the change of lifestyle that my mum and dad were facing.  If I’m honest, I hadn’t thought we’d qualify initially. I assumed it was probably means tested and my parents have a fairly reasonable income.

How did you go about discussing Attendance Allowance with your parents?

I’d been having lots of discussions with my dad about whether my mum could manage at home or not and if so, what care she’d need.  I shared the Royal London factsheet with him so he had all the necessary information. I just positioned it as something to consider once we knew what was happening with mum if she came home. 

I was conscious that, even if we did get carers coming in and out, there would be increased pressure on my dad and I wanted to make sure that he could still get out of the house and pursue his interests (despite being retired he still lectures mathematics for the Open University and directs shows). 

I suggested he look at it as it might help with any additional costs.  And, even if care was put in place, it could allow him to pay someone over and above the basic care to look after my mum and give him a break if constant care was needed.

Can you tell us about the application process?

It took us a while to find time to even start. It’s quite a long form requiring lots of personal information.  I was fortunate that my sister is a nurse that works in care of the elderly so she was able to help my dad by filling in all the details. 

Was there anything that made the process particularly arduous or complicated?

It took us a long time to get round to completing the form because we were so caught up in the day-to-day chaos of hospital visiting, preparing the house for my mum’s return and continuing to try to work full time and support our families. 

Putting it all down on paper was a bit harrowing as it meant facing up to the reality of the difficulties my mum now has. 

What has getting this allowance meant for you and your family?

It’s taken the pressure off my parents financially.  My dad is less hesitant and resentful about spending money on things that make their life easier.

Who would you recommend it to and why?

I’d recommend it to anyone that qualifies.  So much has changed for both of my parents and this just makes it a little easier for them. It can be a daunting task to get around to and it takes some time to complete the form and to get your case assessed, but it’s worth it.

Full details on how to claim are on the gov.uk website and you can find our factsheet here

An infographic explaining some criteria that could make you eligible to receive attendance allowance. This image is an infographic and has alternative text available if you are using a screen reader.

Personal Care

Is getting in and out of a bath or shower proving difficult? Do you struggle to wash yourself independently?

Getting Dressed/Undressed

Are you finding it difficult to get ready in the morning or at night?

Medical Treatment

Do you know which medication to take and when? Are you struggling with th euse of medical devices such as hearing aids or diabetes monitors?

Supervision

Do you need someone to check on you regularly? Are you at risk of falling, leaving the gas on, or at risk to your health should you be left unsupervised?

Using the Toilet

Are you finding it difficult to go to the toilet during the day or night? Do you suffer from incontinence? Are you struggling to change your bedding?

Eating and Drinking

Do you find it difficult to prepare meals or hot drinks? Are you finding it a struggle to do everyday things in the kitchen such as using appliances safely?

Attention

Do you need help getting in/out of a chair/bed? Do you need help when communicating with others?