Macular Degeneration and entitlement to State Benefits.
Having Macular degeneration does not automatically entitle you to benefits.However the effects of the condition may.
For people over 65 who need help with every day activities such as preparing food or reading post. This is not means tested and you do not need to be registered blind/sight impared or partially sighted. Many people with slight sight loss would be entitled to AA. The present weekly rate is £55.10 per wk low rate or £82.30 for the higher rate.
Is a benefit for people over 65 with a low income. It has two parts Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit and ensures you receive a minimum income level, presently set at £151.20 for a single person and £230.85 per week for a married couple. The savings credit aspect depends on the other income you receive and any savings you have.
Disability Living Allowance
For those under 65. DLA is tax free and non means tested. This benefit has two components which are mobility and care and many people who have macular disease successfully qualify for this benefit . This benefit has now been replaced by the new Personal Independence Plan.
If you care for someone who receives either AA or DLA you may be able to claim carers allowance (click here to read my article about carers allowance) However if you receive the state pension you will not be paid Carers Allowance, which to me seems unfair as most people who have Macular Disease are older as it tends to be an age related condition.
Claiming benefits can be complex and here are some links to organisations who can help you.
National Benefits Enquiry Line. Tel 0800 882 200
RNIB Benefit Advisory Team. Tel 0303 123 9999
Age Uk Advice Tel o8oo 169 6565
Citizens Advice Bureau ( Contact your local branch)