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Financial and legal issues and Parkinson's disease



"I get attendance allowance which has helped both myself and my husband"

 

  • §People with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) can incur extra expenses due to their special needs for treatment, care or equipment. For this reason, there are a number of financial benefits available, to which you may be entitled.

  • §Some of these extra benefits are available dependent solely on your disability, regardless of your other income and savings. Other benefits are means - tested, so eligibility will depend on your income and savings.

  • §People who are aged 65 and over may be eligible for the 'Attendance Allowance' if their PD or general condition means that they need help with personal care or need someone around constantly to ensure safety. You are entitled to claim if you require someone to help to “attend” to your needs and could not manage If left alone with no outside contact or support.

  • §Normally people must have needed help for at least 6 months before the attendance allowance can be awarded. There are some detailed claim forms that must be completed. These are available from the local Social Security Office.

  • §People with PD who are aged under 65 who need help with personal care or getting around can apply for the Disabled Living Allowance instead of the Attendance Allowance.

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  • Depending on their income, a Carer Allowance may be available to those aged under 65, who are providing care for at least 35 hours a week to a person receiving the Attendance Allowance.

  • §If you have difficulties collecting your pension or benefits, you can inform the local benefits agency of someone who will collect them on your behalf (your ‘authorised agent’).

  • §Appointing an ‘Enduring Power of Attorney’ is a sensible move for any older person with a progressive disabling condition. This allows an ‘attorney’ (or ‘attorneys’) to carry out any specified financial or legal transactions on your behalf and this authority continues (‘endures’) even if you become unable to act for yourself, for example due to mental or physical frailty. An Enduring Power of Attorney must be drawn up (best done by a solicitor) and signed whilst you are fit and able to understand fully what you are doing.

  • §If you are concerned about the intensity of medical intervention should you become very disabled (for example use of artificial feeding or resuscitiation procedures), then you might consider making an ‘Advance Directive’, or Living Will. Medical staff and relatives would then have to consider your previously expressed wishes when making management decisions.
FURTHER INFORMATION
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Further information on your eligibility for financial benefits can be obtained from the Benefits Agency (telephone helpline 0800 882200), local Citizens Advice Bureau, Parkinson’s Disease Society, or Age Concern. Your family doctor,  Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist, or social worker should also be able to advise.
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Useful reading includes:

‘Your Rights’, by Sally  West, published in 2003 by Age Concern, London.

Useful websites include:

Age Concern
 
 

This site has been established for the dissemination of information. While every effort is made to ensure that information on this site is accurate and current we accept no liability for any omissions or inaccuracies that may have crept in. If in any doubt please contact your doctor for further advice.

Last Modified 13 August 2004
Maintained by Matthew Harris