FUNDING support is at hand for pensioners who need some extra help.
Residents in Northumberland are being alerted to the availability of Attendance Allowance for people over the age of 65 who need help with personal care or supervision.
The payment is unaffected by changes to the benefits system and is not means tested, nor is it taxable. No details of income or savings are needed to apply and it does not affect other benefits or pensions.
It is currently paid at a higher rate of £79.15 a week and a lower rate of £53.
Northumberland County Council Policy Board Member for Adult Services Susan Dungworth said: “Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit, which will not affect other benefits. It will not reduce benefits like Pension Credit or Council Tax Benefit and in some cases can actually lead to a substantial increase in those benefits for single people or couples who are disabled.”
Age UK Northumberland has recruited 113 people to promote the allowance, hand out leaflets, give advice and encourage people to seek help filling in the necessary forms. Ten have been given further specialist training.
In addition, Angela Clough from the organisation has given 60 talks to groups such as Rotary clubs, WI branches and over 50s and 60s forums, as well as home care providers, lunch clubs and coffee mornings about the payments.
To arrange a talk contact her on 01665 511564.
For help on claiming Attendance Allowance, contact Age UK Northumberland on 0845 095 0150. The advice line is open Monday to Thursday, from 10am to 1pm. The charity also has a Welfare Rights’ Service that can arrange home visits.