Martin Lewis’ ‘really important’ warning as pensioner gets £3,500 for much-needed ‘extra help’


Martin Lewis has urged pensioners to check if they can claim Attendance Allowance, as it could be worth thousands of pounds each year.

Up to 1.1 million people could be missing out on the support, according to research by Money Saving Expert and Policy in Practice.

Speaking on ITV’s The Martin Lewis Money Show, he said: “It is really, really important.”

The financial journalist explained Attendance Allowance is a state pension age benefit which “helps cover costs of those who need assistance, even if you’re not getting assistance”.

To qualify for Attendance Allowance, a person must be state pension age or older, be physically or mentally disabled, and have needed help with daily living or supervision for six consecutive months.

The broadcaster went on to highlight a definition from Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls, in 1981, pointing out it reads as dated but is often used in guidance. His definition included needing help for breathing, hearing, seeing, eating, drinking, walking, sitting, sleeping, getting in or out of bed, dressing, undressing and eliminating waste products.

He said: “I really need your help to spread the word about this for the people who aren’t claiming.”

Mr Lewis went on to explain it’s common for those with Parkinson’s, dementia, or a terminal illness to qualify for the payment. It’s possible for people with Power of Attorney to apply on their behalf.

How much is Attendance Allowance?

The lower rate for Attendance Allowance is currently £68.10 per week, worth about £3,540 per year. For this level, the applicant would need “frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night”.

The higher rate is £101.75 per week – equivalent to around £5,291 per year. To qualify for this rate, a person must need “help or supervision throughout both day and night or a medical professional has said you might have 12 months or less to live”.

Attendance Allowance cannot be backdated, meaning people who may be eligible should apply as soon as possible.

While it’s possible to apply for the form online, Mr Lewis suggested people telephone the government department instead, as the claim would be dated from the day of the call.

He said: “Call for the form. Call up for the form because then, they send you a form and you apply, but you get paid from the date you called up from the form.

“If you download the form off and you’re successful, you get paid on the date you sent it back to them. There could be at least eight weeks’ difference in that.”

Pensioner on phone in front of laptop

Martin Lewis suggested people called for a claim form rather than downloading it online


A member of the public, called Maggie, had written into the show to explain they had seen Mr Lewis talk about Attendance Allowance before and had subsequently applied.

She explained: “I am a pensioner with disabilities and have family and others who help me.”

Maggie found she was eligible for the lower rate of just over £68 per week, and, because she called up for the form rather than downloading it online, she also got a backdated payment of £400.

Maggie said: “This means I can get the extra help I need at last.”

How to claim Attendance Allowance

People can claim Attendance Allowance by printing and submitting the claim form from, or contacting the helpline to request a claim form. The helpline is open Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm.

The helpline details are:

  • Telephone: 0800 731 0122
  • Textphone: 0800 731 0317
  • Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0122.
  • There is a British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service if you’re on a computer, and more details here for mobile and tablet users.

The Martin Lewis Money Show Live is available to watch on ITVX.


Read More: Martin Lewis’ ‘really important’ warning as pensioner gets £3,500 for much-needed ‘extra help’

2024-02-20 23:52:49

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