Can we claim for help at home?

Gloucestershire Echo - - CASHING IN - Veron­ica J

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.

Send your ques­tion to con­sumer com­[email protected]

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