MILLIONS of people with at least one of over 56 health conditions are eligible for hundreds of pounds in free cash every month.

Around 1.8million people already receive the cash help but a further 3.4million are still missing out.

Pensioners can boost their monthly income with the attendance allowance and some could receive up to £407 a month.

But attendance allowance has the lowest uptake and highest rate of underpayment of all benefits, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The benefit is paid to people who need help with personal care because of an illness or disability.

In total, 56 health conditions could make you eligible for the payments as long as you've reached the State Pension age (66).

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Here's everything you need to know and how to claim the benefit.

What is attendance allowance?

Attendance allowance helps with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you.

It's paid at two different rates and how much you get depends on the level of care that you need because of your disability.

Those eligible for the full amount could get up to £4,884 a year – which works out to £407 a month.

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Who can claim attendance allowance?

You can get attendance allowance as long as you've reached state pension age (66) and the following applies:

  • You have a physical or mental disability or both
  • Your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself
  • You have needed that help for at least six months (unless you’re terminally ill)

There are 56 categories of medical conditions you can claim with, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Spondylosis
  • Back pain
  • Disease of muscles, bones or joints
  • Trauma to limbs
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Heart disease
  • Chest disease
  • Asthma
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Neurological diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinsons disease
  • Motor neurone disease
  • Chronic pain syndromes
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Metabolic disease
  • Traumatic paraplegia/tetraplegia
  • Major trauma
  • Learning difficulties
  • Psychosis
  • Psychoneurosis
  • Personality disorder
  • Dementia
  • Behavioural disorder
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Hyperkinetic syndrome
  • Renal disorders
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Bowel and stomach disease
  • Blood disorders
  • Haemophilia
  • Multi-system disorders
  • Multiple allergy syndrome
  • Skin disease
  • Malignant disease
  • Severely mentally impaired
  • Double amputee
  • Deaf/blind
  • Haemodialysis
  • Frailty
  • Total parenteral nutrition
  • AIDS
  • Viral disease – Coronavirus covid-19
  • Viral disease – precise diagnosis not specified
  • Bacterial disease – Tuberculosis
  • Bacterial disease – precise diagnosis not specified
  • Protozoal disease – Malaria
  • Protozoal disease – other / precise diagnosis not specified
  • Infectious diseases – other / precise diagnosis not specified
  • Cognitive disorder – other / precise diagnosis not specified
  • Terminally ill

To get the benefit, you must have been in Britain for at least two of the last three years, unless you’re a refugee or have humanitarian protection status.

If you live in a care home and pay for all the costs yourself, you'll still be able to claim attendance allowance.

How much is attendance allowance?

The lower rate is worth £68.10 a week, while the higher rate comes in at £101.75 a week.

Over a whole year, the higher rate benefit adds up to £4,884 a year – which works out at £407 a month.

If you are entitled to the lower amount, you could be missing out on £3,268.80 a year, or £272.40 a month.

The difference between the higher and lower entitlement is £1,615.20.

If you receive the lower rate, you are entitled to frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night.

On the higher rate, you will get help or supervision throughout the day and night.

You are also entitled to this if a medical professional has said you might have 12 months or less to live.

How do I claim attendance allowance?

To apply, you'll need to download the attendance allowance form on the Gov.UK website and then send it by post.

It should be sent to the following address: Attendance Allowance Unit, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton WV98 2AD.

If you're unable to print the form yourself, you can call the attendance allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122 and ask for a copy to be sent to you.

It's worth applying, as you may get extra pension credit, housing benefit or a council tax reduction if you receive attendance allowance.

The application form is very long and asks for a lot of personal information.

If you think you'll need help filling in the form, you should get a friend, relative or adviser to help you complete it if possible.

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Entitledto has a full list of organisations that can help with claiming disability benefits on its website.

If you want to know if you are receiving the right amount of benefits, you can a number of online calculators including on the Entitledto and Turn2us websites.

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