care fees and Attendance Allowance

I have recently become the carer for my mother, who is approaching her 96th birthday. She’s been living in California for the past 20 years with my brother, coming back twice a year for visits. She came for a visit early in March of last year and is still here as she can’t get back due to Covid. All her possessions have been shipped over and she is staying here with me.

She was absolutely fine until about 3 months ago when she was diagnosed with an irregular heart rate and her medication was changed. Then she lost most of her mobility as well as getting a UTI which has left her somewhat confused. Anyway long story short is that I’ve become her carer, virtually overnight.The only other help she gets is a carer in the morning for about 30 minutes and an evening carer for about 15 minutes.

As a retired DWP benefit processor, I knew all about Attendance Allowance (AA). So I filled in the claim. Despite 48 years as a benefit processor, I struggled completing the claim form, so really feel for those having to do it without any help.

When it came to the financial assessment, it turned out that her state pension and private pension together came out as £1 per month below the lowest level at which she would have to pay. Then I knew that the AA claim was a waste of time as it would taken fully into account. The award notice came yesterday so I’ve checked with the council and yes,it’s given with one hand and taken away with the other £ for £. I’ve phoned up to cancel the claim altogether as pointless in claiming it . However was told that is not a valid reason to cancel the claim. The girl I spoke to says it’s happening all the time,

So why on earth is there nothing in place for the AA to be signed over to the council. Why do I have to deal with all the admin and set up direct debits etc. A total waste of everybody’s time. In reality it’s the government just moving it from one pot to another via the person needing care. Far less admin for the council just to claim it directly. At 96 years old my mother’s condition is not likely to improve.

Hi Judith

Yes, that’s the benefit system annoying. If you are unaware of all the things that effect a benefit. Things have changed a great deal. Especially, since UC the advisor is incorrect. Yes, that does happen quite a lot. You can stop a benefit. And I think your reason is a good one.

Report a change in circumstances
Your circumstances can affect how much Attendance Allowance you get.

You must contact the Attendance Allowance helpline straight away if:

the level of help you need or your condition changes
you go into hospital or a care home
you leave the country for more than 4 weeks
you go into prison
you change your name, address or bank details
you want to stop receiving your benefit
your doctor’s details change
your immigration status changes, if you’re not a British citizen