Attendance Allowance should I appeal?

CHESS

Registered User
May 14, 2006
136
LANCS.
No problem, Hazel. I have a very good friend who still feels worried that she gets the allowance in spite of the fact she lives alone. She still thinks they will be taking it away from her. "How can they pay me when I don't have anyone in during the night?" It is very difficult to explain.

Best wishes.
 

Clive

Registered User
Nov 7, 2004
716
Mum qualified for the Higher rate whilst living on her own. You just have to need help, you don’t have to get help. It did make me feel very guilty about not sleeping over most nights, and I always wondered what would happen if mum had hurt herself, or others, after I had sent off the form for the Higher Rate Attendance Allowance.

Mum had been getting the lower rate for about two years.

I said on the form that the Psychiatric District Nurse could give them any information they required.

I said mum had Alzheimer’s Disease and did not understand that sheets and night dresses needed changing when soiled.

I said mum needed help cleaning the toilet

Had incontinence of bladder and bowel

Could hurt herself and did not realise danger

Did not realise when her condition was getting worse.

Was confused

Had no memory and would open the door at night if the bell rang.

I also said I had not claimed earlier because I did not know I should until told by the Care Company Boss.

I said mum had a telephone by her bed to contact me.


The claim was passed straight away BUT due to the instructions to pay into mum’s bank getting lost in the DWP system it was about a year before the money was paid… backdated of course. (It took far too much effort on my part to get the DWP to sort out the problem between two departments each of whom blamed the other, and neither would talk to each other directly).

Clive
 

Nebiroth

Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
3,511
It's not strange. It's because Attendance Allowance is supposedly to be used to help pay for the help you need. Thus, you can qualify on the help you need, not the help you get (or don't get).

Qualification is based completely on need.

But once you qualify you can spend it on anything you want to.
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
I applied for Attendance Allowance for my Mother and got it within a couple of weeks

You have to be sure that you truly overstate the situation giving worst day scenario

Always fill in such forms as if you are explaining the difficulties/situation to a blind person or someone who has absolutely no idea what life is like for someone with AZ or VD
 

Nebiroth

Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
3,511
Indeed. You complete the form describing the worst times. You also have to put absolutely everythingdown. Assume that the person doing the evaluation knows absolutely nothing, and has never heard of dementia or what it means. They are trained to do each evaluation from that perspective, even though it is quite likely that they have seen such things many times.

This is why it is so helpful to get someone experienced to help with the form. They will know what to say, what things are relevent, and perhaps most importantly, will think of lots of things that you won;t because you have become used to them.

It is better to put down too much (anything not relelvent will be ignored) than not to put things because you assume they aren't relevent or important enough.
 

Chrissyan

Registered User
Aug 9, 2007
570
61
N E England
We did it guys!

I have got notification today that my Dad has been awarded the lower rate of Attendance Allowance back dated to 17/03/08.
It only took four weeks for a decision this time.

Thank you all for your input I couldn't have done it without you & of course many thanks to the lovely lady from Age Concern for filling in the form on out behalf, I must call her & thank her on Monday.



I was given a council tax exemption form from the SW that briefly entered our lives before she knew my Dad would be self funding. I couldn't fill it in before as he he was not receiving any of the appropriate benefits and I now believe this is means tested so I would be wasting my time anyway am I correct?
 

Nebiroth

Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
3,511
Effectively, a resident can be disregarded, for council tax purposes, if they are deemed "mentally incompetent". I believe that most councils define this as "being unable to understand what Council Tax is, or what it is for"

My local authority says:

Severely Mentally Impaired

For Council Tax purposes a person will be regarded as severely mentally impaired if he or she suffers, for whatever reason, from severe mental impairment of intelligence or social functioning which appears to be permanent eg Alzheimer’s or other similar illnesses.



To determine if a person may meet this criteria we refer to the following as general guidance:-

Severe impairment of intelligence - is usually to mean an IQ of 50 or less.

Severe impairment of social functioning - will probably be taken to mean that the person has severe learning difficulties and cannot learn more than the basic self care skills such as dressing, eating, using the toilet, washing etc.

The person must be certified by a doctor as being severely mentally impaired and must be entitled to at least one of the following benefits:

*
Incapacity Benefit at the long-term rate.
*
Attendance Allowance.
*
Severe Disablement Allowance.
*
The care component of a Disability Living Allowance.
*
An increase in Disablement Allowance where constant attendance is needed.
*
Disability Working Allowance.
*
An Unemployability supplement or allowance.
*
Constant Attendance Allowance.


From that I read that you could be either severely mentally impaired (the IQ thing) OR socially impaired, you don;t have to be both.


Oh, one pitfall to watch out for: if you apply the council may write to the person in whose name the council tax payments have been being made.

You don't want a letter arriving for Dad saying "you have applied to be disregarded for council tax purposes as being mentally incompetent"!

Do you have Power of Attorney? You could have all council tax responsibilites shifted to yourself.
 
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jude1950

Registered User
Mar 23, 2006
182
Lincolnshire
I have got notification today that my Dad has been awarded the lower rate of Attendance Allowance back dated to 17/03/08.
It only took four weeks for a decision this time.

Thank you all for your input I couldn't have done it without you & of course many thanks to the lovely lady from Age Concern for filling in the form on out behalf, I must call her & thank her on Monday.



I was given a council tax exemption form from the SW that briefly entered our lives before she knew my Dad would be self funding. I couldn't fill it in before as he he was not receiving any of the appropriate benefits and I now believe this is means tested so I would be wasting my time anyway am I correct?
The Council tax exemption is NOT means tested you need to fulfil the criterea which is being in receipt of attendance allowance or DLA because of mental impairment your GP or consultant will be asked to confirn the dementia diagnosis I think you have to be on the higher rate to qualify though.
Judith
 

ROSEANN

Registered User
Oct 1, 2006
909
72
staffordshire
Hi Chrissyan
Congratulations an getting the allowance, with regard to the council tax as soon as my hubby got the allowance we sent the forms off and he was given a 25% discount because I live with him, I believe if the person lives on their own they are disregarded.
We were not means tested but as you know all councils work different but it is worth aplying for even if you only get the 25%.
He was only on the lower level when he got it.
Good luck Roseann
 
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Chrissyan

Registered User
Aug 9, 2007
570
61
N E England
Effectively, a resident can be disregarded, for council tax purposes, if they are deemed "mentally incompetent". I believe that most councils define this as "being unable to understand what Council Tax is, or what it is for"

He does know what Council Tax is for, when he got his new bill in April he phoned them up trying to pay it all on his debit card despite having had a direct debit in place for many years & it saying so on his bill.:rolleyes:


My local authority says:

Severely Mentally Impaired

For Council Tax purposes a person will be regarded as severely mentally impaired if he or she suffers, for whatever reason, from severe mental impairment of intelligence or social functioning which appears to be permanent eg Alzheimer’s or other similar illnesses.



To determine if a person may meet this criteria we refer to the following as general guidance:-

Severe impairment of intelligence - is usually to mean an IQ of 50 or less.

Severe impairment of social functioning - will probably be taken to mean that the person has severe learning difficulties and cannot learn more than the basic self care skills such as dressing, eating, using the toilet, washing etc. He can do all of the those things although I think the washing is slipping his mind these days.:eek:

The person must be certified by a doctor as being severely mentally impaired and must be entitled to at least one of the following benefits: Yes he was diagnosed with VAD last September

*
Incapacity Benefit at the long-term rate.
*
Attendance Allowance.
*
Severe Disablement Allowance.
*
The care component of a Disability Living Allowance.
*
An increase in Disablement Allowance where constant attendance is needed.
*
Disability Working Allowance.
*
An Unemployability supplement or allowance.
*
Constant Attendance Allowance.


From that I read that you could be either severely mentally impaired (the IQ thing) OR socially impaired, you don't have to be both. He is not severely mentally impaired yet, socially, yes. Lower rate Attendance allowance just awarded.


Oh, one pitfall to watch out for: if you apply the council may write to the person in whose name the council tax payments have been being made.

You don't want a letter arriving for Dad saying "you have applied to be disregarded for council tax purposes as being mentally incompetent"! Very good point, no I don't, he's certainly aware enough to be very upset by it as he forgets his diagnosis.

Do you have Power of Attorney? You could have all council tax responsibilites shifted to yourself No I do not have Power of Attorney in place, although one is lodged at the solictors..
Thanks very much for your input once again Nebiroth, jude1950 & ROSEANN I think I might send the form off to 'suck it & see' but am a little concerned about a letter from the council upsetting him.
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
Council Tax exemption is a right ........its not means tested and has nothing to do with assets or savings

As he is getting Attendance Allowance and has Dementia they CANNOT REFUSE IT

I know because I claimed it for my Mother

She got AA imediately because my sister and myself filled in the forms to the fullest extent

The Local Council sent a nice fat cheque by way of refund to in about 2 weeks
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Well done Chrissyan! Re Council tax - I also thought the prerequisite was the higher rate of the AA but I may quite possibly be wrong about that. The other hurdle you may have is the one I had (and it was this issue that first led me to this forum actually) is that you also need a doctor willing to sign the form: mummy's was not and in took a whole year with me pestering him for him to agree to do it. Goodness knows why: anyone would think it was coming out of his own pocket.

P.S. Actually the info is here http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/FinancialSupport/Taxreliefandreductions/DG_10026451 (middle of the page)

You'll see that while they refer to the "Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or highest rate" no such distinction is made re the AA.
 

Nebiroth

Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
3,511
Hi Chrissyan
Congratulations an getting the allowance, with regard to the council tax as soon as my hubby got the allowance we sent the forms off and he was given a 25% discount because I live with him, I believe if the person lives on their own they are disregarded.
We were not means tested but as you know all councils work different but it is worth aplying for even if you only get the 25%.
He was only on the lower level when he got it.
Good luck Roseann
Your husband was disregarded, for council tax purposes, you are therefore paying the "single persons rate" as effectively, there is only one resident who is taxable.

As we are a household of three, any one of us qualifies (Dad - dementia; mum - disabled with arthritus and parkinsons; me - carer), but sadly there can only be one exemption per household, which would reduce us to two, and two people pay as much as three do!

As regards the letter, I'm sure you can speak to the local authority as ask for any correspondence to be directed towards yourself. It might be possible for you to be designed as the responsible person, as your Dad is no longer capable of managing council tax.
 

sue38

Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
10,854
52
Wigan, Lancs
Well done Chrissyann! :)

Thanks for the reminder about the council tax discount. I had read about this before on TP but had forgotten.

As my Dad has now been awarded Attendance Allowance (higher rate, even) he and my Mum should now be able to get the 25% discount.

I have found the form on their council's web site and will send it off Monday.
 

ROSEANN

Registered User
Oct 1, 2006
909
72
staffordshire
Dear Jeninfer
I had forgot about the Doctor signing, ours charged us 10 pounds for doing it and Nebiroth is right you can ask for the letters to be sent to you or at least our council will do it.
Crissyan send the forms off you dont know until you try
Roseann
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
My Mother got lower rate of AA
She lived alone so already got 25% discout
The doctor must have been sent a form by the LA because I did not send it to him

She got a FULL refund of all Council Tax
 

sue38

Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
10,854
52
Wigan, Lancs
The doctor must have been sent a form by the LA because I did not send it to him
In the form I have downloaded you only give permission for the LA to contact the doctor, there is no requirement to get a doctor's certificate. It may of course vary from LA to LA
 

cariad

Registered User
Sep 29, 2007
89
Hi, my mam was turned down for council tax reduction because I do not get carers allowance!! Even though I virtually gave up my job (I work 6 hrs a week) and she needs 24/7 care.:mad: