Attendance allowance - applying for higher rate

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by SKD, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. SKD

    SKD Registered User

    Mum has received attendance allowance at the lower rate since her diagnosis with dementia in 2016. She is now in a nursing home (self-funding having failed to receive CHC funding) - she has to be washed and dressed each day, is no long mobile and needs to be moved with a wheel chair and her speech has deteriorated and she is no longer comprehensible. She is still able to feed herself. I have been told that I can apply for higher level payments now that she needs 24/7 care. Does anyone have experience or comments about applying for the higher level of funding?
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    She should certainly get it. Apply immediately. I believe there is a shorter form to do this if you are already getting the reduced level.
  3. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    Yes, apply now. It is fairly straightforward, I promise. Maybe try again for CHC in a few months time.#
    warmest, Kindred.
  4. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    #4 northumbrian_k, Nov 19, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
    Yes, I did this in January 2019 @SKD . Get in touch with the Attendance Allowance unit at DWP and tell them what you want to do. They will send you a letter DBD420 which has a space for you to say why you want the claim to be looked at again. I used a form of words from a psychatric report on my wife as this made it plain that she has an 'advanced presentation'.

    You should also receive a form DBD138 to complete and return. This asks about medication, any professionals other than a GP who have seen the person within the last few months, a series of questions about care required at nighttime, and details of hospital stays or stays in a care home.

    It is important to focus on nighttime as the higher rate is only payable where needs at night have been identified. This ought to be the case if 24/7 care is required.

    You will need to complete and return both DBD420 and DBD138. If DBD138 is not returned then the claim will not proceed.

    The forms are quite short and straightforward to do. The claim should be dealt with (backdated to date of higher need) within about 13 weeks.
  5. CWR

    CWR Registered User

    Mar 17, 2019
    See if there is anyone in Citizens' advice who can help you fill it in. I was helped by a benefits worker. I know of another case where someone lost out because they filled it in themselves.
  6. anxious annie

    anxious annie Registered User

    Jan 2, 2019
    I think the higher allowance is about night time needs (and am not sure if greater deterioration during the day counts towards this). Please get advice from Citizens Advice to check and do make sure to include night time care eg toileting , turning to prevent bed sores during the night etc. Your mum needs all the benefits she can get if she is self funding, every little helps!
  7. leslyz

    leslyz Registered User

    Oct 24, 2015
    Hi there, I'm in the middle of doing this and in exactly the same position as yourself. Mum was on the lower rate having been officially diagnosed around 2016 but since having a severe fall this year she is now in a care home and her mobility is poor. I wrote to tell AA in May about her change of circumstances and then again recently to explain her needs had increased and they sent me a form. It's not too bad but the night time thing was a bit difficult as mum is reasonably OK but needs supervision at night rather than direct practical help. So I called them and they were helpful and advised me to write as much info on the form as possible, perhaps include an additional letter and also recommend to send any assessments or medical info I have to back it all up. I'm also sending them a copy of the POA doc so that all this can be done through me as my mum denies she needs any help and getting her to sign the form would be too upsetting.

    I hope this helps.
  8. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    Mums higher rate will start in December, six months after her needs increased.
    Why I have no idea but it’s more pennies to pay towards care.
  9. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    Yes! Make sure you say that she needs care through the night. I described our situation as accurately as possible and when dad got the lower rate I thought that this was what we were entitled to. When dad went into the home I checked his benefits and I was told that he should be on the higher rate hence I kicked myself because we both missed out due to me not insisting on the higher rate! Looking back I still don't know how we lost out on the higher rate in the first place after having described falls, wandering and numerous other health issues and Alzheimers symptoms!

  10. Starting on a journey

    Starting on a journey Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    My mother was awarded the higher rate soon after diagnosis. She has problems sleeping and complains bitterly to any health professional who goes near her. It was awarded because she needs care at night, I assume because of this. Unfortunately I am very deaf so unless she is really screaming (which does happen) I don't go and help her overcome her sleeplessness. I understand that if you need the help, even if you don't get qualify
  11. SKD

    SKD Registered User

    Thanks everyone - I'll be ringing for the forms this week - and the nurse at Mum's nursing home as said they will be able to provide details of nighttime requirements. Fingers crossed as every little helps!
  12. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    It is important to put in detail about how often and for how long direct intervention is required at night eg twice for 10 minutes each time to go to the toilet etc. Tick all the boxes that apply in relation to why the person needs to be watched over at night: to prevent wandering, harm to self and others, lack of awareness of common dangers, confusion and so on. I found it useful to make use of the spaces for additional comments to set out the case in more detail.

    Typical wording would be along the lines of (tailor these to give an accurate description of your particular circumstances):

    "X requires support, encouragement and help with all aspects of her personal care. This includes using the toilet, cleaning teeth, taking medication, undressing and putting on night attire. Without support all of these will be done incorrectly or neglected."

    "X has advanced dementia and cognitive defects. She is disorientated to time, place and person and has poor recall. She needs constant support, supervision and guidance throughout the day and night to maintain her health and welfare."

    "X confuses day and night. Without constant supervision she will fail to undress for bed, attend to toilet and hygiene needs or take medication. She gets out of bed at any time of night and will dress as though ready for the day. She often also confuses dreams with reality."
  13. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    Yes I was told it is about night time needs. And it doesn't need to involve being immobile or need physical help, it can be just supervision or prompting to get to the loo, or supervising if they wander. My mother has had the high rate of AA since she first moved to a CH. As you say it's definitely worth having.

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