Attendance Allowance is extra money you can claim if you’re over State Pension age and need regular help with your personal care. It’s not means-tested, so you can claim it whatever your income or savings.
Cost of living announcement
To help with the rising cost of living, the government provided a one-off £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment in September/October 2022, to people receiving one of the following disability benefits:
Disability Living Allowance
Personal Independence Payment
Scottish Disability Benefits
Armed Forces Independence Payment
Constant Attendance Allowance
War Pension Mobility Supplement.
You had to have been entitled to one of these benefits on 25 May 2022 to qualify for the payment. This payment was made automatically in the same way you usually get your benefit.
are over State Pension age. You can find out your State Pension age on Gov.uk
have a long-term physical or mental health condition, or disability. This can include sensory conditions such as sight and hearing loss, and cognitive impairments such as dementia
have needed help with personal care or regular supervision from someone else for at least six months. You can claim whether or not you actually receive this help or supervision. Personal care tasks could include things like washing and bathing, dressing and undressing, getting in or out of bed, and taking medication
live in Great Britain and have done for at least two out of the past three years.
If you're terminally ill, you can claim Attendance Allowance straightaway.
Attendance Allowance is paid at two different rates, depending on the level of care you need:
If you need care or supervision during the day ornight
Lower rate – £61.85 per week
If you need care or supervision during both the day and night, or if you're terminally ill
Higher rate – £92.40 per week
Your income and savings aren’t considered when deciding if you qualify for Attendance Allowance, so anyone can claim it regardless of their financial situation. You don’t have to spend your Attendance Allowance on care – it’s up to you how you spend the money.
Attendance Allowance will not reduce other benefits you receive, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. In some cases, you may find that being awarded Attendance Allowance means you’re entitled to higher rates of these other benefits, because of your extra needs.
Your claim can be backdated to the date of your call, rather than the date you return the completed form, if you order a claim form over the phone. You have six weeks from the date stamped on the form to complete and return it.
You can ask for help from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if you have difficulties making a claim because of a disability or health condition – for example, if you have problems reading or filling in forms, understanding complex information, or using a phone or computer. Visit Gov.uk for more information.
Tips for filling in your form
The decision maker will use your claim form to work out whether you qualify for Attendance Allowance, so it’s important to give as much detail as possible.
explain how your condition affects your day-to-day life and what personal tasks you have difficulties with
answer as many questions as you can and give examples
include the time it takes you to carry out specific tasks and how much help you need with them, even if there’s no one to help you
explain how your needs change and how bad your difficulties can be if some days are better than others
mention any things you avoid doing because they’re difficult for you – for example, if it’s difficult bending and reaching to put on and take off socks, even while you’re sitting down
explain what happens when you don’t receive the care you need, especially if this has left you at risk of falls or struggling to manage
send supporting information - for example, from your carer, GP or consultant.
Some people find that if they’ve lived with their health problem for a long time, they overlook or underestimate their difficulties, so it’s a good idea to get help to fill in the form. Contact your local Age UK or Citizens Advice if you need help completing the form. If you want to help someone else to fill in the form, read our tips on how to help someone to claim.
Keep a copy of the form and any supporting documents that you send with it, in case you need to refer to it again later.
Receiving Attendance Allowance
If you’ve made a new claim, you should receive a written response within four weeks. The letter will tell you whether you’ve been awarded Attendance Allowance, and the rate that you’ll get. You’ll either be awarded indefinitely or for a fixed period.
Getting Attendance Allowance also means that you may qualify for an increase in any means-tested benefits or tax credits you're currently getting. If you don't get any, you may qualify for the first time. Call our Helpline on 0800 319 6789 to see what other benefits you could get, or use our online benefits calculator.
If your circumstances change
Your Attendance Allowance may change if your care needs change, you go into hospital, move to a care home or go abroad. You’ll need to contact the DWP to discuss your situation.
See our factsheet Attendance Allowance for more information on what to do if your circumstances change.