Can we claim for help at home?
QWE ARE in our late seventies. We recently retired after running our own business for almost all our 57 years of married life. We have a little financial ‘nest egg’ plus £850 a month from selling our business and the state pension. But we seem to be poorer than many friends who have no problem with new cars and holidays.
We own our house. We both recently privately paid for new hips (£12,000 each), and I am waiting to have the other hip replaced. I have osteoarthritis. I have recently had delicate right hand surgery, from which I am currently recovering. I had a heart attack four years ago.
I am also waiting for the results of a bowel scan. My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer, is currently on hormone treatment and has rheumatoid arthritis.
I would love to be able to afford to have someone help with housework, like changing beds and ironing, window cleaning and gardening.
Is there any allowance claimable or am I dreaming? I hope you can advise!
ATHE good news is you are financially better off than many in your age group. The bad news is your health.
Few find discussing money easy. Those of your friends who are better off may be so because they have gold-plated workplace pensions which go up each year with rising prices while, as business owners, you probably had less secure pension arrangements.
It’s impossible to know exactly and, in any case, it’s too late to do anything at your age. From your description of your illnesses – we have left many out both for space reasons and to ensure anonymity – it could be worth applying for the government’s Attendance Allowance. Unlike many other benefits, this does not count your savings – you have too much to claim for most help available. The allowance goes to those over 65 who need help at home because of a long-term illness or disability.
It would pay £57.30 a week if you need help either in the day or at night or £85.60 a week if you need help both day and at night.
Your first move should be going somewhere like Citizens Advice or other help centre to discuss whether your circumstances qualify you for the allowance.
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