Letter: Note to the disabled

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The Independent Culture
Sir: While the Government is reassessing welfare benefits for the disabled, perhaps they should persuade the Benefits Agency to correct a misleading statement on the front page of the "Notes about Attendance Allowance (No DS2A)" given to applicants.

The statement reads: "But if you start to get Attendance Allowance it might affect other benefits you are getting. For example, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit."

To a vast majority of would-be applicants, all of whom have to be over 65, this statement reads as if there is the possibility that these benefits may be reduced once they receive attendance allowance. In fact, attendance allowance is not means-tested and other benefits are not detrimentally affected.

On pointing this out to a Benefits Agency office, I received the reply that these named benefits can be increased once a person receives attendance allowance. I was also told that the Benefits Agency is aware that the sentence is misleading and can deter many who would otherwise be entitled to attendance allowance, but as yet nothing is being done to change it.


Hillingdon, Middlesex