Published On: Mon, Nov 13th, 2023

Attendance allowance date correction is big help for couple | The Crusader | Finance

They are grappling with a relatively new situation and when Paul understood Helen was most likely to be eligible for attendance allowance assistance, the news certainly helped, enabling them to plan and budget for what they might need in future.

Having sent off the application to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) last March, “we heard back quickly confirming receipt and were promised a decision within 12 weeks,” says Paul.

++ If you’ve been affected by this issue or feel you’ve been a victim of injustice, please contact consumer champion Maisha Frost on ++;

But with the time then up, he made several calls and learned “our claim had been received but then could not be found. It was suggested I resubmit it and then any payment would be backdated to March. We were relieved the system did have some trace of us so we went ahead as advised. At the end of August receipt was again confirmed.”

But a month after in a call Paul was told the claim had been successful, but it would only be backdated to August when he made the second application.

The change in calculation meant the couple risked losing out on over £1,000 of benefits.

“I don’t have a record of the calls concerning my original claim and now I’m worried it is our word against theirs. The way this was handled does not seem fair,” a concerned Paul told Crusader.

Families caring for vulnerable relatives are always under relentless pressure and while Paul had exercised his right to complain and there would likely be a record of his conversations, we also knew following up all that could take time and anything that spared him the stress of chasing would be very welcome.

Having explained the situation to the DWP, he then received a prompt response.

In a call he was told payment (some £300 a month) will run from March 23 and a DWP spokesperson said “We apologise for the oversight in this case.”

As well as being really pleased Paul also thinks he knows where the hitch might have occurred, something that may help others in future.

After making the first claim he and Helen moved home to be closer to their daughter and used their new address for the second claim. “We did point this out, but perhaps not enough,” he says and advises: “If you do change details make sure they are very obvious. Put ‘please note’, repeat them, it all helps.” [Names have been changed]

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