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Relevant welfare benefits and news

Welfare Reform Bill

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The Lords are debating this Bill this week and so far it’s not looking good, the general view from disability groups is that it will be bad news for people who get Disability Living Allowance (DLA)  which is being replaced with ‘Personal Independence Payment’. (PIP).

Eligibility to receive DLA, like Attendance Allowance, brings with it access to other assistance which will be lost with PIP. The qualifying period is longer and advisors are concerned that the tighter criteria will mean less people get the benefit full stop.

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Benefits – get claiming, people!

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A report out this month revealed that some pensioners are failing to claim up to £2400 in benefits a year that they are legally entitled to. When I first started visiting people with dementia and their carers it never ceased to amaze me how reluctant my clients were to claim Attendance Allowance (AA) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) such was the stigma they attached to ‘state benefits’. Mention council tax discount (an automatic result of being eligible for AA or DLA) and many people changed their minds quite quickly. Of course this probably reflects the level of hatred of council tax among the general public but I was just glad they signed the forms!

People who need assistance with daily living should be entitled to AA or DLA – AA for those over 65, DLA for those under 65. For information on these and other relevant benefits (such as pension credit, carers allowance) please do contact the Benefit Enquiry Line: 0800 88 22 00. If you’ve paid into the system all your life it’s time to get something back.