There are benefits you may be entitled to if you need help or have difficulty with your day to day needs because of your Parkinson’s.
There are different benefits depending on your age. If you are under 65 you can apply for Personal Independence Payment ( PIP) which replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) a few years ago. Attendance Allowance is for the over-65s (however if you are over 65 and already receive DLA you will continue to receive it).
Personal Independence Payment ( PIP)
PIP is a benefit for people under 65 who have a long term health condition or disability. If you are awarded PIP it will continue when you reach 65.
Whether you can get it depends on how your Parkinson’s or other health conditions affect your ability to carry out certain key activities that are considered essential to daily living and getting around. There is a daily living component and a mobility component; if you are awarded the enhanced rate of the mobility component you can make use of the Motability scheme.
Attendance Allowance (AA)
AA is a benefit which can be claimed when you are over 65 and need help or have difficulty with personal care or need someone to ensure you are safe. The benefit is for you, not your carer (if you have one) and you don’t need to have someone looking after you to qualify. AA is based on what help you need, not on the help you currently get. It doesn’t matter if you live alone, or if you get a lot of help or a little.
The AA form is quite long and can be difficult to complete, because it deals with personal care issues. But it is worth taking the time to do it, because getting AA can significantly increase your weekly income.
Tax free / not means-tested
Both PIP and AA are tax free disability benefits and are not means tested. You will not be asked about your income when applying for them.
You can receive only one of these benefits: PIP if you claim when you are under 65 and AA if you claim when you are over 65.
Carer’s Allowance is different as it is an income replacement benefit. Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for people who regularly spend 35 hours a week caring for a person with a disability. You don’t have to be related to that person or living with them. The person you are caring for must be receiving AA, DLA or PIP. However you can’t be paid Carer’s Allowance if you are receiving the same amount or more from other benefits, this includes the state pension.
So as you can see, it’s a bit of a minefield! However, you can get lots more help and information from:
Read about Anita’s role and her contact details