Advice on Funding
Here is a card to download with information about your current entitlement
This will be updated when we know the implications of the Care Act which come in 1st April, however the financial side will come in later
This is an important benefit for older people who require help or supervision because of their physical or mental condition. Entitlement is not affected by the individual’s income or savings, as the benefit is not means tested, nor is it dependent on National Insurance Contributions. In addition, Attendance Allowance is not taxable and its payment may also enable individuals to claim other benefits. Attendance Allowance is payable, even if the individual does not receive help from someone else. The benefit does not have to be spent on care or attendance and can be used for any purpose. All that matters is that the need for help with personal care or supervision exists.
To qualify for Attendance Allowance, you must meet the following conditions:
• Be aged 65 or over.
(If you became ill or disabled before the age of 65, then application for Disability Living Allowance should be claimed.)
• You must have had the disability for at least six months.
• You must normally be resident in the UK at the time of making the claim.
Attendance Allowance is payable at two levels:
The Lower Rate is £47.80 and the Higher Rate is £71.40 both of these amounts are payable weekly and entitlement will depend on which of the two conditions, as detailed below, are met.
The Lower Rate will be payable if you are so disabled that you require frequent help throughout the day with your normal bodily functions or if you require prolonged or repeated help with bodily functions during the night. The Higher Rate is payable for individuals whose condition dictates that they require help during the day and night. It will also be payable if another person needs to be awake for a prolonged period or at frequent intervals throughout the night to avoid putting yourself or others in substantial danger.
Leaflet DS702 (Attendance Allowance) provides additional information on this benefit and a claim pack can be obtained by using the tear off slip on that leaflet. Alternatively, the application form is available from your local Deapartment of Works & Pesions/Benefits Agency office, or by telephoning the Attendance Allowance Unit on 08457 123456.
We would recommend that you request a copy of our bulletin on this benefit, for full details of its operation and details of how to claim and appeal.
The benefit consists of two elements;
• Guarantee Credit
• Savings Credit
Both of the elements are assessed independently and have differing age limits. It is therefore important to recognise that individuals may have an entitlement to either or both components.
The Guarantee Credit is available for people aged 60 and over. It is broadly a replacement for the current Income Support system with benefits paid at generally the same rates. The Guarantee Credit will ensure that individuals receive a minimum amount of weekly income which reflects their circumstances and needs. This is known as the appropriate or applicable amount. The basis of Guarantee Credit is the Standard Amount as detailed below:
Single Person £132.60
This will be increased by a series of premiums or extra amounts if you have a disability, or are a carer or have relevant housing costs. The most relevant of these premiums for individuals in care is the Severe Disability Premium. This is applicable if you receive Attendance Allowance or the middle or higher rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). The additional premium is £53.65 and eligibility will be subject to no one receiving the Carers Allowance for looking after you.
If your income is less than your applicable amount, the difference will be made up by Guarantee Credit.
Your income will be calculated as being the amount you receive, excluding any disregarded amounts such as Attendance Allowance. In addition, an amount will be included in respect of the "notional" income generated from your savings. This is taken to be £1 per week for every £500 of capital. The first £10,000 of savings are excluded if you live at home or if you are permanently resident in a care home.
The Savings Credit component of Pension Credit is available to individuals aged 65 and over who have income from their savings or have a personal or occupational pension.
If your qualifying income is higher than the savings credit threshold, but below a given maximum, then you will be entitled to receive Savings Credit.
• Savings Credit Threshold
Single Person £ 98.40
The amount of entitlement is calculated as 60% of your "qualifying income" above the savings credit threshold, subject to a maximum of £20.52 a single person and £27.09 for a couple.
The amount of Savings Credit payable may however be subject to a reduction at the rate of 40% of the amount of qualifying income above the applicable amount.
People aged 60 and over who live permanently in residential or nursing homes will be entitled to Pension Credit instead of Income Support and in such circumstances, the higher level of capital will be disregarded, i.e £10,000.
Under the terms of Pension Credit, it is possible for care residents to qualify for some support, even with capital assets of up to £79,950.
This is a complex benefit and we would recommend that you request a copy of our bulletin on this benefit for full details how to calculate your entitlement.
The Pension Credit Helpline can be contacted on 0800 991234
Help for Carers
In addition to the financial help for those in need of care, State benefits are also available for those individuals who provide care.
Carers Allowance is a benefit for individuals who are unable to work full time because they are caring for a severely disabled person for at least 35 hours a week. The benefit is taxable but is not dependent on National Insurance contributions.
The person for whom you are caring must be receiving Attendance Allowance at either rate, or the care component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate.
There is no upper age limit for Carers Allowance although if you are receiving a State Pension you may not receive the allowance on top of this.
The current benefit rates are:
Carer: £53.90 per week
CareAware’s references to State benefits focus on those which are care or age related.
However, there are a range of more general, non care specific benefits which may be available to individuals who are not residing in a care home.
These include Housing Benefit, Council Tax benefit and Winter Fuel Payment and further details are available from your local Department for Works and Pensions or contact the Benefit Enquiry Line on FREEPHONE 0800 88 22 00
This refers to care which is provided in your home and is usually suited to those individuals with a less acute need. It may involve short term visits from the district nurse during convalescence or Meals On Wheels for those who have difficulty preparing food. In general terms, the care is targeted to provide help with a specific task, for example getting up in the morning or bathing. Help may also be provided by the installation of specialised equipment such as grab rails or adapted sanitary ware.
Traditionally, domiciliary care has been provided by partners, family and friends. However, there is an increasing need for professional help and support.
There are a growing number of private nursing and care agencies who specialise in providing tailor made care packages to suit individual circumstances. In addition, voluntary organisations and charities play a major role in this area, providing both physical and social care and also offering support to carers.
Paying for Domiciliary Care
Essentially, those who have assets of more than the upper capital limit will not be entitled to receive free domiciliary care from the State and will be required to fund the cost from their own resources.
In addition, those in England whose income after paying for care, is more than the Department of Health's guidelines will be expected to meet their own costs and charges. In Scotland, a contribution towards personal care is paid by the Scottish Executive.
Subject to individual circumstances, there may be an entitlement to Attendance Allowance and Pension Credit which may offer some financial assistance in meeting domiciliary care costs. Further details of these benefits are provided through the Benefits for Domiciliary Care option on the left.