Attendance Allowance is extra money you can claim if you’re over State Pension age and need help with your care needs or regular supervision. It’s not means-tested, so you can claim it whatever your income or savings.
Who can claim Attendance Allowance?
You may qualify for Attendance Allowance if you:
are over State Pension age. You can find out your State Pension age on Gov.uk
have a 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 your care needs or regular supervision from someone else for at least six months. You can claim whether or not you actually receive this help or supervision.
Your care needs could include things like:
washing and bathing
dressing and undressing
getting in or out of bed
taking medication or having treatment
communicating to people what you need or making yourself understood.
If you have been told by a healthcare professional that you may have less than twelve months to live, you can claim Attendance Allowance straightaway. For more information, visit Gov.uk.
How much is it worth?
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 – £68.10 per week
If you need care or supervision during both the day and night, or if you have a life-limiting illness
Higher rate – £101.75 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.
Our Helpline can help 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. You can also get help from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – 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 all the questions if 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 if you're able to – for example, from your carer, GP or consultant.
Send the completed form to Freepost DWP Attendance Allowance. If you have any queries contact the Attendance Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0122.
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. Our Helpline can help you over the phone - book an appointment by calling 0800 319 6789 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 six to eight weeks. The letter will tell you whether you’ve been awarded Attendance Allowance, and the rate that you’ll get. If you've been awarded Attendance Allowance, it could be either 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 situation changes – for example, if you go into hospital, move to a care home or go abroad. You’ll need to contact the Attendance Allowance helpline to discuss your situation.
If you feel like something has gone wrong and you want to challenge the decision – for example, if you haven't qualified for Attendance Allowance, or if you've received a lower rate than you expected – see our factsheet What to do if you disagree with a benefits decision.
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