Attendance Allowance (UK)

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I don't know if someone can help me here? How on earth do you play the Attendance Allowance game? (I'm filling in the form for a pensioner.)

The whole form is littered with boxes saying, "How many times a DAY do you need help with this activity?" when it's something that occurs a couple of times a week or less. I shit you not, it says, "How many times a DAY do you need to be helped in and out of the bath?" What am I supposed to put? 0.3?
 

Celandine

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AgeUK has a useful tips guide for filling out the Attendance Allowance form. Remember--if an activity would take the person much longer than a "normal" person or if there are negative consequences as a result of doing the activity (fatigue, pain, etc.) then make sure this is noted and included as something they would need help with. So, if you could make a meal yourself but it would mean being in bed the rest of the day then that counts as something you would need help with.
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/benefits-entitlements/attendance-allowance/
 

Wolfcub

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Oh dear @Cheryl M I am sorry. I don't have enough hands-on experience with the Attendance allowance forms.

But I know that my elderly Aunt tried to fill one in last year and gave up on it. We are at a big distance physically, and she had no way of getting anywhere to copy it, and post one to me, so I could help her with it.
She couldn't cope with my suggestion of her reading out the questions by phone, and me helping with the answers.
But she had the same issue apparently, as you have.

But I also hear you have to be very canny with your answers. There's a "protocol", and some -even true -answers don 't always work for the system.

I hope you get someone commenting who really really knows this form and what to do!
 

Wolfcub

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THE FORM IS TOO BLOODY LONG!
Yep....that's exactly what my Aunt said; it is like the size of a small A4 book !!

I agree with what someone said above -that the best plan is to book an appointment with Citizen's Advice (usually found at the local library on certain days. You may need to call the library to find out when/what times etc.)
 
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Going to the CAB is a huge effort because I have to travel 20-30 miles to get to the next district. I need to warn anyone who has an abusive relative that the CAB has conflict of interest rules, meaning that if a particular CAB district have advised your relative they are not allowed to advise you. If your relative is clever they will beat you to the punch, making sure that they can get advice half a mile away, but you can't. It is especially important to remember this if you live in a rural area and can't drive.

I will muddle through the form.
 

Wolfcub

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Do you think I might be able to help you with the form in any way?
Going to the CAB is a huge effort because I have to travel 20-30 miles to get to the next district. I need to warn anyone who has an abusive relative that the CAB has conflict of interest rules, meaning that if a particular CAB district have advised your relative they are not allowed to advise you. If your relative is clever they will beat you to the punch, making sure that they can get advice half a mile away, but you can't. It is especially important to remember this if you live in a rural area and can't drive.
Oh I see. That is really difficult. I also live in a rural area but can drive. I know how hard it is without a car.

Could this be of any help to you? https://www.ageuk.org.uk/bp-assets/...lists/a-guide-on-how-to-complete-aa-forms.pdf
I know it has "Wiltshire" in the address of this page but it might apply to anywhere in UK.
 
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Celandine

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@Cheryl M My understanding from working at CAB is that the COI rules pertain primarily to relationship issues. We can't advise both partners going through a divorce, for instance. Or possibly it could apply with two neighbours in a dispute over something. I can't understand how benefits forms could have any COI issues. There's only one party involved.
 

Celandine

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Not sure what it's like where you live--every CAB is different. I think ours is particularly good and very eager to help and accommodate clients--but we have several smaller outreach branches in surrounding villages. So, if there's a COI situation we can make the client an appt at one of the outreaches which are usually just a few miles away.
 

Celandine

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Sorry to keep going on, but also wanted to say that because there was a conflict of interest around one particular issue it doesn't mean they can never advise you about anything. That just applies to the one particular case.
 
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@Celandine Thanks for being so helpful. I'm filling in the form for someone who is unable to fill it in themself. This makes me think all the previous COI restrictions apply.

The district that has been helping me says that they are not able to offer home visits, so I'll have to keep on travelling.
 
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I now have the problem that I can't gather evidence because al the medical workers have more important things to do. I wonder if I should go ahead and submit the claim without much evidence? The alternative is waiting, perhaps for months.
 

Wolfcub

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Under the present circumstances, it's hard to know what to do. Depending on who you need to contact to gather the evidence -have you tried to contact those people? Of course there's a chance that won't work right now.

I can imagine evidence will support your claim very well.
 
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@Wolfcub It is very hard to know what to do about all sorts of things at the present time, isn't it?! It's also difficult to know who to contact about medical evidence. The person for whom I am filling in the form never goes to the doctor if they can possibly help it, and is claiming to have illnesses such as Seasonal Affective Disorder for which it's very hard to get a diagnosis. I had hoped that the GP would write a useful letter covering all the person's problems, but I asked her for evidence about month ago and never got it; I expect she was overtaken by events.

Maybe if the GP provides evidence after I've submitted the form I can send that along to the DWP? They usually take a long time to process claims even in normal circumstances so there should be some lag time? I could make a note on the form saying I wasn't providing evidence due to COVID-19 but would send it along ASAP.

Since I've got a lot of time on my hands (like... even more than usual) this seems a logical time to work on the form and send it in. I hope.
 
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Ah, I've just read that nearly a million people have applied for Universal Credit in the last fortnight, so the DWP is probably overwhelmed and operating even more slowly than usual. That still doesn't tell me whether I should go ahead and get the application in the pipeline, though.