State pensioners with eyesight issues could get an extra £101 each week
Attendance Allowance is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and offers people of state pension age who have a health condition or disability some financial support.
Those with eye conditions such as cataract, glaucoma or macular degeneration could qualify for this extra cash.
Around 1.4 million people over state pension age get either £68.10 or £101.75 each week through the benefit.
In the UK, more than 2 million people are living with sight loss. Of these, around 340,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted, the NHS stated.
Of these 340,000 nearly 80 per cent are 65 or older, and around 60 per cent are 75+.
There are over 45 eye conditions affecting adults across the country, these include:
- Macular Degeneration – Wet and Dry (also referred to as age-related MD)
- Retinitis Pigmentosa
- Retina and optic nerve – other diseases of / type not known
- Diabetic Retinopathy (a condition that can cause vision loss in people with diabetes)
Who is eligible?
People can get Attendance Allowance if they’ve reached state pension age and they have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example, blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both which affect their day-to-day lives.
Pensioners are the most likely group of Britons to be missing out on state benefits from the DWP, according to Age UK.
Successful claimants must have needed help for at least six months unless they are terminally ill.
Successful claimants could get either £68.10 or £101.75 a week depending on whether their condition affects them during the day or night, or both day and night.
These are common health issues affecting eyesight that are being supported through disability benefits, but if someone’s condition is not listed, it doesn’t mean it’s not supported.
Diseases of conjunctiva, cornea, eyelids and lacrimal apparatus
- Conjunctiva, cornea, eyelids and lacrimal apparatus – Other diseases of / type not known
- Corneal ulceration
- Herpes zoster – ophthalmic
- Orbital cellulitis
- Anterior Uveitis (iritis)
- Chorioretinal disorders – Other / type not known
- Posterior (choroiditis)
Visual injuries to the eye
- Posterior vitreous detachment
- Vitreous disease – Other / type not known
- Vitreous haemorrhage
Diseases of the retina and optic nerve
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Hypertensive retinopathy
- Macular degeneration
- Optic atrophy
- Optic neuritis
- Retina and optic nerve – Other diseases of / type not known
- Retinal artery occlusion
- Retinal detachment
- Retinal vein occlusion
- Retinitis Pigmentosa
- Retinopathy – Other / type not known
- Hypermetropia (long-sighted)
- Myopia (short-sighted)
- Refractive errors – Other / type not known
Disorders of eye movement
- Eye movement – Other disorders of / type not known
- Strabismus (Squint)
Visual field defects
- Cortical blindness
- Diplopia (double vision)
- Tunnel vision
- Visual field defects – Other / type not known
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The benefit is paid every four weeks and works out at £272.40 and £407.00 respectively.
People can spend the money however they like and it could help them stay independent in their own home for longer.
This might include paying for taxis, helping towards bills or paying for a cleaner or gardener.
Attendance Allowance isn’t means-tested so it doesn’t matter what other money people have coming in or how much they have in savings.
It’s tax-free and individuals will be exempt from the Benefit Cap so they won’t have money taken away from any other benefits.
The other benefits one could get might increase if they get Attendance Allowance, these include:
- Extra pension credit
- Housing benefit reduction
- Council tax reduction
People can claim by either printing and submitting the Attendance Allowance claim form found online or contacting the helpline to request a claim form.
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