1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

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Attendance allowance.

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by angiebails, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. angiebails

    angiebails Registered User

    Oct 8, 2009
    227
    crewe
    Could anyone help me, my husband has dementia and is under the dementia clinic taking donepezil and resipiridol. He can dress himself and take general care of himself but cannot drive take his medication or cook. I generally do everything for his day to day living and do not leave him on his own for his own safety or the safety of the house as he has a tendency of leaving taps on or doing some sort of DIY which he cannot do anymore. I would like to know if anyone has any experience of claiming attendance allowance for someone with dementia as I could then get the carers allowance and pay for someone to come in and stay with him or entertain him. I am finding it very difficult to entertain him 24/7 and I am restricted as I am nervous of taking him on holidays that he wants to do as he has such uncontrollable temper if he thinks things are not right or he has another hallucination.


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  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,719
    Female
    London
    Remember to describe everything he needs help with, whether that need is met at the moment or not. Describe the worst day, not the best. Get supporting evidence, for example a report from the memory clinic or anyone else who saw him professionally. Get a charity like Age UK to help you fill it in if you are unsure, they know the trigger words etc. if he only needs help during the day, he will get the lower rate, help during the night will get the higher rate. He must have had those attendance needs for six months already. If not, they will wait before six months have passed until they pay out. If he gets the lower rate now, you can always apply for the higher rate later on, that process will be faster as he's already in the system then. If they reject your application, appeal with more evidence. We got it after doing that.

    Also, once he gets AA, you can also apply for council tax exemption for him on the grounds of severe mental impairment. That will shave 25% off the bill.
     
  3. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,968
    Brixham Devon
    As Beate says. Also once your OH gets AA you will be able to receive carers allowance
     
  4. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,056
    Yorkshire
    #5 Shedrech, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
    When I applied, I sent off for the forms - just do a search for Attendance Allowance and you'll find the details easily - but also signed up on line and down loaded those 'forms' as they were slightly differently set out and I thought the online application gave me more scope to write what I wanted to but the paper form gave me all the categories I needed to mention.
    Then I went through each section and wrote examples for everything just on plain paper so I could add and edit. I was very honest but I looked at the 'worse' end of the spectrum - it turned out to be sadly easy to do. I mean - don't focus on the few instances when you were so pleased that your husband managed a task - FOCUS on the times (and you will discover they are more regular than you realised) when he was unable to do something, remember the things he is no longer able to do and that you are now doing but it has become so routine that you don't notice any more AND mention those worrying irregular inabilities that you will begin to realise are becoming more frequent.
    Think of all the adaptations you have made to your home, your daily routine and your lives in general. Think of activities you used to do but have been changing or giving up. Think of all the help you have asked for - whether you got it or not - and all the help you ideally would like to have to give your husband a good life. Think of the things you would like to do and can't or find difficult at the moment, but could do with some kind of support.
    Go through your daily routine and write down EVERYTHING you help your husband with - to do this consider your lives pre-dementia and compare your lives now - don't leave anything out thinking it is too trivial, those small changes add up to constant supervision!
    Make a list of the particularly challenging episodes you have both faced - physical, mental and emotional. Describe the changes in your husband's personality, moods etc. Write down the 1 or 2 things that worry/frighten you the most.
    Look through your diary and medical records and write out all the appointments, medication and interventions over the last year.
    Make a note of any carer input etc you have - a cleaner (or that the cleaning doesn't get done), a gardener, carer visits, day care, chiropodist (because he can no longer cut his own toenails) ...
    I was overwhelmed by what I read back to myself - and so saddened - as I was faced with dad's new situation in black and white in my own handwriting, and I hadn't realised just how much the AZ had affected him, and me.
    So then leave the process and do something you love to do. In fact, I took days to get everything together, and to give myself time to accept what I had to write.
    I preferred the layout of the online application as I could write out all the points I wanted to make in my own way - I used bullet points and gave an example for each. I wrote as if I were dad (it says to somewhere on the form) and used as many of his own words as I could.
    I also filled in the additional spaces and the bit about the carer as I had so much to put down. I filled in the section that I was completing the form on dad's behalf - and read over to him what I had put so I could honestly write that he knew all about the application - but what I said pretty much went straight over his head.
    This all seems so negative, I know, but that's the point. You are stating honestly and factually why you NEED the AA. Be brutally honest - tell it as it is on the worst day and in the worst situation, because that is why your husband qualifies for the AA which will make a difference to his life and yours. Let's face it nothing you mention will get better or easier
    One eg from what you wrote:
    'He can dress himself' - does this mean as he did 10 years ago OR does it actually mean
    If I put out all his clothes within sight and easy reach, hand each item to him (otherwise he puts pants over trousers) and prompt how to put each on, giving him time otherwise he becomes frustrated and angry, and most times help him with buttons - he can dress himself.
    I use this 'simple' task as an example as the temper, the hallucinations and the safety aspects you will already appreciate need to be described.
    And don't think that because you 'don't tick every box' your application isn't sound - if you do 'tick' everything they will know you should have applied ages ago.

    Sorry to write so much - you did ask! Hope it's helpful.

    PS Forgot to mention - DWP told me to apply for Carer's Allowance at the same time so it was in the pipeline for when AA was granted. I found it useful to do them close together as I was in the swing of form filling and it got a draining experience out of the way.
     
  5. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    840
    Fife Scotland
    yes tell the BAD days not good, and the 25% off council tax, not in my neck of the woods, it is means tested by our council
     
  6. balloo

    balloo Registered User

    Sep 21, 2013
    227
    northamptonshire
    if you ask the Alzheimers society they will get DWP to come out and fill form in for your huband unless you have POA he will have to sighn it .
     
  7. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    840
    Fife Scotland
    at the moment Parkinson's and they said even with AA they would not consider reduction due to money in bank. But my mum has more than us but different county
     
  8. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,861
    Female
    Scotland
    Not so Patsy! With council tax in Scotland the person with dementia pays nothing and the other member of the household pays 75%. Of course if as a household you are already getting a reduction that may make a difference.
     
  9. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    840
    Fife Scotland
    B hasn't been diagnosed with dementia yet, it was the Parkinson's we went with having the AA, but FC said it was means tested. If B's Parkinson's turns to dementia (which I think is becoming) then I should re-aply
     
  10. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,570
    Female
    South coast
    When I applied for mum to get AA someone from DWP first came out to assess mum so that I could become her DWP appointee. This meant that I could fill in and sign mums form on her behalf and i could also talk to DWP on anything else on her behalf.
     
  11. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Can't think of much to add except that if you are asked to say how long a task takes (eg helping someone go to the toilet at night) 20 minutes minimum seems to be the magic number. Also personal care tasks seem to to carry more weight than domestic ones (like shopping) but put it all down anyway.
     
  12. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,976
    Suffolk
    If you really can't face doing the form, Age UK will come out and do it for you.
     
  13. truth24

    truth24 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2013
    5,726
    North Somerset
    Assume you are too young to claim a state pension as you cannot claim carers allowance if you are receiving a pension in your own right.
     
  14. angiebails

    angiebails Registered User

    Oct 8, 2009
    227
    crewe
    Thanks everyone and especially shedreck who has given me lots of pointers. I have started the forms and explained so to my husband who has never claimed anything before. It could take me a while to rewrite my draft but nothing ventured nothing gained. When I think that I have given up all hope of working again the carers NI credit would be of most value for pension in many years to come. So if I get the AA I will claim the carers allowance and then I can pay for some help. Fingers crossed now I have taken the plunge.


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  15. angiebails

    angiebails Registered User

    Oct 8, 2009
    227
    crewe
    Yes truth 24 I am only 50 and have already spent 5 years not working.


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  16. truth24

    truth24 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2013
    5,726
    North Somerset
    Good luck then, angiebails
     
  17. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    #18 Pickles53, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
    Very good point about the NI credits as the new state pension rules require 35 years credit instead of 30 as it used to be. Good luck with the forms.

    PS remember you need to say your OH has needed help for at least six months.
     
  18. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
    Good luck Angiebails, very good advice on here, I would urge you to get some help if you can though as it seems to be important to use the 'right words'. Also, as others have said, it's esy to discount how much you do do, and someone who is experienced in filling out AA forms shoud be able to help you reflect on this.
     
  19. angiebails

    angiebails Registered User

    Oct 8, 2009
    227
    crewe
    Form now posted and I hope I have done a good job. It did take me quite a while. So fingers crossed so that I can put my carers claim in. It won't help much with the task in hand but in the long run I do need to look after myself especially with what I have been through. Thankfully at the moment things are calm and we have had no violent outbursts since my OH has had his tablet increased 8 fold. It does make him sleepy but that's not a bad thing when I think what he has done.
    Thanks everyone for your advice and previous understanding.


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